Theresa Hamman

Ear Worm
I’m at the stage
where I’m humming the thing
between lip and lung
my breathy tongue
slips and curls under the tune
without woodwinds
or throat, or sparrows.
It winds up my brain
slithers out my ear,
weeps down my cheek.
All the while
my mouth
remains tight
and the worm,
finding the small gap
between my teeth,
sings free

When I saw
them approaching
I believed
they were human
but really
they were hats
with twisted hands holding torches—
and then someone
somewhere spoke
about a “murder
of crows” erupting
before the sun rose
red over the ruined city
and I knew—
this is how the world
flies apart
this is how
the winds blow back
against the eagle building
her nest in a barren tree
and how
the hatted hands
the tree’s dry bark
but really
if you think about it
it’s not about kneeling
or reporting
it’s all that clawing
all that squawking
it’s about the crows
and how they morph
into murders.