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Megan Hammer Feb 22
I’ve had too much wine in the mountains
The clouds are getting in my eyes
With your chin in your hand, looking at me so
That’s why I get up, take the last sip at our supper
Before the bells begin to toll

Pick me up, carry me to the bed
Some cabin shouldn’t mean so much to me
But I’m in my head about how long it’s been
So long that I start to think about it now
Moving back and forth, lost in thought

I've had too much wine in the mountains
The frantic ramble begins
And now, I'm a mess on the floor

Because there’s a church outside our door
The bells toll and it’s all I can hear
All I see when I look out the window
And I told the priest we’d come back tomorrow
I know what I said, but -

I change my mind about Gibraltar
If we leave tomorrow, could we make it?
I didn’t mean it, I don’t want to wait
I was wrong and that ******* bell and
We’ve got to leave, how many miles is it?

Grabbing the keys -
******* it, how many miles?

But you take me into your arms like a child
Moving back and forth, lost in thought
Smooth my shake and clear the clouds
"This won't go on like this anymore"
“I'll get it squared away”

Some other day in time
I find myself full of wine in the mountains
Wondering what would have happened if I heard the bells sooner.
Somewhere outside Tarragona Spain, July 2017
Feb 19 · 227
My Shepherd
Megan Hammer Feb 19
In the valley of darkness, I shall not want
Though a hole resides where the heartbeat should be
The vessels still do their work

My lungs decay, black and smoked out
And my organs dry up from strong rums
And the things I hold dear become a desert storm

But I shall not ask for the help of dying trees
Whose fruit, though ripe, would leave me with less leaves
Or perhaps with more than I could bear

No, I stand on the mountains
The mountains we lived in, where the church sits upon the hill
I stand on the mountains and call for him

I call for him
and I know - without science or senses -
That he is near
Megan Hammer Feb 19
Light-hearted in the beginning
Where bickering in your bed
Turned into something you won't hear of
What can I say
The door is not open

You keep it shut
But that's all you know
A wall is a wall
It's slim chances you'll get over it
But you can see out the window

Sometimes, you draw the blinds
You like to see the people go by
Whose lives you will never touch
I tell you what they think
But you just want them to know your name

How it could be on the other side of the wall
If you could grow outside the bungalow
If I could just break it down
Build a new one with the door wide open
Maybe then, you'd see what I'm saying

But there already is a door in this wall
I love you too much to ignore it
So I have to exit to show you where it's at
Dec 2019 · 614
Peter James Pan
Megan Hammer Dec 2019
Call me up and call me kiddo
You're getting too old for this
I think this as I hop over your ledge
Into the Island of Peter James Pan

I fly back and come over
You fly off the handle too much
Want what you want when you want it
I value patience

I can find the brightest star
But you won't look up
Say you've had enough of my thoughts
I wouldn't expect a lost boy to understand

But I'm sorry for the second night
When you just wanted to talk
And I was in a rush to Neverland
I wish you'd ask me how I am again

I never expected you to be more than a fun night
But now I know your bed and you gave me a toothbrush
I was too quiet to come through your window
I don't know if you will leave it open anymore

But maybe it's time for you to be Wendy
And forget all of us who were up in the clouds with you
Maybe it's time to fulfill your father's legacy
I know it means the world to you

But I will remember you saying you liked my questions
Because they were different from the others
The kiss on the forehead
Safe in the island of your arms

And I will remember your ledge
Whether or not you remember me
For Z.J.
Nov 2019 · 135
Champaign and Snow
Megan Hammer Nov 2019
Champaign and snow, the Cranberries song was on
It was warm sleeping in the bathtub
And I can still hear his hum sending me off
Picking me up, moving me to the bed

How the morning came and I heard the small planes fly on
Beginning to cry because it's time

To turn off the Cranberries,
To go back out into the cold
To hum an old song and send you off

The plane flies above the hotel
So I take a long, hot shower
Megan Hammer Nov 2019
Take me to Treasure Island beach
It’s way too cold for me
But I'll go swimming in the sea with you

Or we can get the bikes
We'll ride along the Pinellas highway
Racing to the bottom is what I do best

Come on, what would you like to do next?
The store - I'll get your coffee and your dates
And when it gets late, we’ll go to the bay
Say a film you'd like to watch

The lock is somewhere in Bruges
He put it on the bridge by the hotel room
The one we lived in for a time
When we went rogue in the mountains

Our crime on the coast of Normandy
Hand me the shell and I'll keep it forever
But take back your coat
It's too cold for you to be without it

Stand here where you stood
Kidnap me as you thought you would
It could be so nice to ride across the border

Take me to Treasure Island beach
We'll find a boat and float away
In Gibraltar, we'll never come back
Nov 2019 · 254
The Yellow Room
Megan Hammer Nov 2019
It’s always the same - as always
We go round and round in your car
The Old Northeast or somewhere in between
Under the overpass - where did we park?
In the grass, up the steps, the yellow room

And where did we resume?
A Wednesday night at a dive bar
They're all doing ******* in the bathroom
Round and round the corner - your car is blue
New place, but it’s still a yellow room

It’s always the same - the blue car
Where a light never goes out
With footprints from high knee boots and sneakers
Where all my counterthoughts become undone
Beer on the counter and a couch you’re gonna take me on

Take me into your new car
It’s not always the same after all
Good things come to those who wait
Tonight is always different with you
At last, I get to know more than the yellow room
For Basil.
Aug 2019 · 322
A Rich Man at 1 AM
Megan Hammer Aug 2019
1 in the morning and I'm coming over
I hop the ledge into his place
I start to undress but he stops me
He doesn't want to do anything
Except ask me how I am

Your room and your eyes are full of smoke
You were so far away from when I saw you last
You became older over the course of a few days
Thinking it over too much
How to manage a million for a friend

What does it mean to be in your position?
It only means something to you if you can get more
Silence finds your lips and then they meet my forehead
And we fall asleep so sadly
Too deep in thought to touch

I'm still thinking about it in the morning
Are you mad at me?
"No" he says, taking off my clothes
it's different from the last time
You show it in your gentle ways

He wraps me in blankets
Says I can stay all day
And when he leaves for work
I make his bed and write him a note

What does it mean to be in my position?
It means something to me until I get more
Aug 2019 · 229
Megan Hammer Aug 2019
I knew him by the wave of his cigarette
One corner turned up in a smile
George Clooney voice

"Liberal little ****" he says
I laugh and tell him he's not open-minded
He's had enough of my thoughts

Carved from the same canister
You'd pick up anything you like

An ******* for sure
The furrowed brow and gaze
We don't give a **** what people think

It's in the way he leans back in his chair
Tells me to hurry late at night
Lifts me over the ledge

I knew when he said "Come here"
Just how far I'd go with him
Aug 2019 · 261
Maybe Bath, UK
Megan Hammer Aug 2019
Maybe Bath, UK - a warm summer’s day
There he is, standing there counting heads
With his hands behind his back
Plastic bags filled with red solo cups and whiskey

On a plaza square where the band plays
Waiting to see something
They’ve all got their cameras out, looking around
Looking the wrong way

While I looked as he just stood there
laughing to himself, just smiling
Sees me, motioning for me to come to him
Looking as if he knows something they don’t

Looking me up and down
Seeing past the white clothes
I grin because I barely know him
Because I know him so well
Aug 2019 · 229
Turning the Clock Back
Megan Hammer Aug 2019
Turning the clock back, searching the face of this man
And he sees me - stands in the lobby
Frowning and sad
Ask me your questions, tell me your name once again

He’s taking a group to the lakes
And he’s holding some whiskey by the picnic table
Hit me
He throws back his head and laughs

Standing beside the river
Where our hands touch the edge of Montmartre
Back to a beach where I’m quietly waiting
On the rumors of summer, on you to come meet me

Lay out a blanket, bring something to feed the birds
He watches them fly back to our place
Where I fall asleep as he reads in bed
As he closes his eyes, dreaming of a church on the mountain

Come back, I’m dreaming of a flight back from London
Where you stand at the gate like the first time
Take me to the basement
To the old hotel room I’m still in

Answer my questions, I’ll say your name once again
Frowning and sad
Because I can’t turn the clock back
Searching for the face of this man
Megan Hammer Aug 2019
The River Seine, I remember well
And his bedroom window just above the stream
The gleam of a basement bar in Bruges
Blue eyes he poured out of over a mug

All I can think of is laughing and stumbling in the street
The cathedral as I sat in his lap, soft as the hour passed
Laughing at boys who were drunker than us
Asking each other which way the hotel was

Kissing in the dark in the back of the pub
Just look at him - how the eyes pour out
Pouring the most important thing into me,
Words I keep scrawled on a note in my pocket

Because he’s not here to tell me anymore
Doesn’t mean I can’t go back to the River Seine
Or a cathedral or the bar or the square

I can still hear it, the eyes pouring out
Aug 2019 · 222
Megan Hammer Aug 2019
He wears his smile like me
Moves in drunken circles
I stumble walking beside him to his car
And sing laughs as he hits the pedal

Another time, red bull and coke
Where the bicycles roll by
But I don’t hear anything besides him as we bicker mouth to ear

I just want to hear his thoughts
But he won’t give them to me
It’s out of his comfort zone to give me that kind of head.

I wonder when you’ll get tired
When you’ll be in that bar again
And someone will be there
And you’ll take her home like you’re used to

And do it all over again.
For he whose thoughts I wanted to hear - thank you for giving them to me.
Aug 2019 · 299
Zamberletti Park
Megan Hammer Aug 2019
Swinging in a hammock under palm trees, I’m taken away;
into a swing on a playground where we used to live.
Pine trees work together with the heat waves that bathe us.
My sister is playing the boys while they play basketball.
She doesn’t see that they are planning a move, but I do,
and I hope she’s got a trick up her sleeve.
At fifteen, she sneaks out every night,
out of the window with no screen.
She goes to see Michael who I don’t like.
I think he’s up to no good, but what would I know?
I’m just a five-year-old.

Swinging in a hammock, I’m taken away;
into a swing on a playground where we live.
My brother rides his bike with his friends,
and they talk about baseball cards and the next game.
And the grass is always greener when he’s around –
my mom and dad grab the camera and make the most out of today.
But my dad is not his dad, which bothers no one,
though my brother is always a little mad.

Swinging in a hammock, I wish I could be taken away;
into a swing on a playground where they lived.
I sit in dazed exhaustion from a long day –
there are no sounds of running feet nor voices chanting names.
There are no baseball cards nor boys nor basketball games here.
I don’t know where Michael is, and my sister doesn’t go out anymore.
My brother doesn’t ride his bike anymore, and his next game ended up being his last.

Swinging in a hammock, I stare with strange, confused longing
at the branches above me;
the branches that bend into each other against a clear blue sky
I have not known for a very, very long time.
Aug 2019 · 213
For Grandma
Megan Hammer Aug 2019
Carefree kids on bikes, zigzagging their way to Gross Burgers
Their mothers are hookers, methheads, and nurses
Their dads are nowhere to be found.

But they still laugh, pass around a Coca-Cola
Turn up the Kanye and anger the neighbors
Who wear beards and drive trucks with one hand on the wheel

Carefree kids on bikes, eating push-up pops from Mike’s liquor store
They all smell like green sour patch kids - sour, sweet - almost gone.
Until they smell her lilacs beckoning them home, singing their names from a purple stem

She’s our lifeline, pumping blood through us and into our hearts
Carefree kids on bikes, we’ve only got that old lady on the porch
Carefree kids on bikes, who all the moms get rid of,
Ride to the lilacs, where she quietly gives up her last Coke for one of them

And loves them all,
Without caring where they come from.
Feb 2019 · 284
E. Chicago Harbor
Megan Hammer Feb 2019
As I listen to Otis Redding on the harbor, boats named after people float around;
Boats named by fishermen who think just a little too much.
They come out everyday like Hemingway Jrs; the old men and their sea.

December does not feel right here: It’s not the same without a Chicago winter,
But this harbor’s got my father on my mind.

He used to run numbers for a local casino & now he writes numbers in a sudoku box on Sundays.
The days of wild adventure on the streets of Germany are what he sees when he looks at his beer mugs.

and when he’s had a little Heineken, Marlboro, and a spin of his record player,
I know that no one else should be in the room.

He shows his thoughts in photos: His winters spent coming back home to feed his family,
Keeping warm in a house with one heater, snow, noses blown in hankies, Uncle Frankie,
Harry playing jazz in the living room, and walking to school in the cold.

But there are no photos of him - and there wouldn’t be -
When he snuck away to the harbor with his friends.
We tend not to talk about them anymore, but he still remembers where they lived.

And sometimes, I catch a glimpse of him - with his Heineken and his Marlboro and his music -
I catch him as he smiles in hiding while his eyes confide in a light I do not see,
And when I do,
I know that my father is still on that harbor.

— The End —