Category Archives: Matthew A. Hamilton

Matthew Hamilton’s Flash

Admission by Matthew A. Hamilton

Carlos lifts his hands for the security guard and enters the market. He searches for boys without hope, without opportunity.

Today Carlos finds Michael, a boy with sleepy eyes and a nervous twitch.

Carlos offers him a smoke.

“Thanks, “Michael says.

Carlos looks at the soccer ball stenciled on Michael’s T-shirt. “You like soccer?” he says.

“Yea,” Michael says.

“You good?”


“How would you like to make some money?” he says. “Be a prince of Mexico City?”

“What do I need to do?” Michael says.

“Practice. If your good enough I can see about making you pro. Pay’s ten dollars an hour and all you got to do is kick a ball around for a few hours. That sound good to you?”

“When do I start?” Michael says.

“Now,” Carlos says, “if you want.”

Carlos opens the van door for Michael. There are ten other boys inside. Michael climbs in.

They drive out to the desert. The boys are hustled out of the van. In front of them are four men, blindfolded and on their knees. Behind them are six men carrying automatic weapons. Michael smells piss and shit.

Carlos walks over to Michael and hands him an ax. “You know what to do,” he says. “This is a test. Pass and you will be part of the family. You will be part of the cartel. The city will be yours.”


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Hands by Matthew A. Hamilton

The cracks in my hands told me
I’d live forever. They told me
that one day I’d be wealthy.
When my hands held you
for the first time I knew
it to be true.


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My Turn by Matthew Hamilton

i pour a bowl of Rice Krispies
stand there and stare at your
picture on the refrigerator door
it’s been three days
three days and no sound

i flip on the bathroom light
the goldfish are dead
you were the one to
feed them

I flush them down
the toilet
i wait for the water
to stop swirling
i grab my gun
and put it to my mouth


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Garmri by Matthew A. Hamilton

The resting place of Sohaemus
bends to the command of the Azat River
jagged hands fold in prayer with ricochets
of grey cold and mist

within the stillness of weathered stone
a hallway of light appears
the voice of the duduk speaks like a troubled soul
and calms the anger of hungry gods

the steps of nine walk toward the dark light.
flowers dance to the rhythm of yellow skies
children dream of purple shadows and the lost city
of the silver spear

here, all reality is swallowed by the past
ancient cracks bleed tears
white echoes give hope to old men
selling statues and rosaries and miniature temples

people have been walking here since the beginning of time
some are older than sand and rock
older than time
older than a whisper
older than God

I sit here, think about life and death
who I have been and what I will become
I take a bite of an apricot
I meditate on its taste
the sweet dryness of frozen leaves


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Color Coded Pills by Matthew A. Hamilton

He coughs. He has headaches. He vomits blood. He faints. Doctor Smith tells him he has inoperable cancer. He gets a second opinion. Dr. Wilson says there is a chance. He begins chemo. Color coded pills fill the medicine cabinet. Blue and green in the morning. Pink and white in the evening. He sits in a comfortable leather chair. He watches his blood mix with a gold liquid. He is tired, but feels better. He takes a shower. The hot water massages his skin. He rubs his scalp. His hair begins to fall out. Razor in hand, he looks in the mirror. He cries. He doesn’t want to continue with the chemo, the pills. “I’m going to die anyway,” he says to himself. “And when I do, what then? All this money. My wife and children, their future. I just can’t do this anymore.”


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The Clinic by Matthew A. Hamilton

Bob walks in the Doctor’s Hospital of Manila, goes to the information desk.

“I’m looking for Dr. Cortez,” he says.

“Second floor,” the young girls says. “Make a right at the elevator, then take your first right. Room 205.”

“Thank you,” Bob said.

There is a pile of people waiting next to 205. Bob walks in.

“May I help you?” the receptionist says.

“I’m from Peace Corps,” Bob says. “They called you.”

The receptionist hands him a sheet of paper. “Yes, sir, please fill this out and we’ll get you in as soon as we can.”

“Looks like lots of people out there, though,” Bob said. “How long’s the wait?”

“We can get you in as soon as the doctor arrives, sir.”

“Are you sure?” Bob asked.

“Yes, sir. We have a good relationship with Peace Corps.”

“Thank you,” Bob said.

Thirty minutes pass, then an hour. The nurse comes out. “Sir,” she says, “I’m sorry, but the doctor will be late. Do you want to come back tomorrow at twelve?”

“Sorry,” Bob says, “but I have another appointment at twelve, but I can make it early morning tomorrow, say eight?”

“Sorry sir, the clinic opens at eleven. But if you don’t mind waiting now, it will be another hour.”

“I’ll wait.”

After another thirty minutes, the nurse returns. “I’m sorry, sir, but the doctor is ill. Can you come back tomorrow?”

“I guess I’ll have to,” Bob says.


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Whitechapel by Matthew A. Hamilton

She left the Frying Pan Pub at 2:30am. She walked in zigzags and talked to herself. She turned onto Bucks Row. The boarding school was dark and silent. She thought she heard a child’s voice up on the roof—they often played there—but realized it was only the wind whipping across the alleyway bringing the last smells of the afternoon thunderstorm.

A man approached her and offered her money. Having little she accepted. He took her hand, guided her deeper into the darkness. He gently spoke to her. “My place is very near here,” he said. I have warm food and beer, tea if you rather take that.”

“Thank you,” she said. “You are a kind man, kinder than that bastard on Thrawl Street.” She cleared her throat and spit. “He kicked me out of his Inn, you know, said I didn’t have enough money. I assured him I would have it very soon.” She took off her black bonnet. “I showed him this. I told that bastard to save a bed for me.”

“The bonnet was a gift?” the man said. “From your lover, perhaps.”

“Yes,” she said, “a gift.”

“What is your name?” he said.

“Mary,” she said. “Mary Nichols. But my friends call me Polly.”

“May I call you Polly?”

“Certainly.” As they neared the Blackwall Buildings she asked, “Do you live here?”

“Yes,” he said.

He drew his knife. Polly saw it flash under the street light. Before she could scream her mouth filled with blood.


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