HUM by Mark Boykin

The electromagnet buried in my chest
starts a hum throughout me;
as it lives, the basic principles
of substance make me into a cathedral.
Up to the rafters, the field flows
around them, ringing, so insistent;
utterly believable, if you’re into that sort of thing:
a dwelling for the faithful,
a landmark for anarchists,
a quagmire for the animated bones
that gesture, expectantly,
as flesh, capillary, and muscle can’t.
I left an anatomy textbook in the hallway, note pinned to it:
“Read; find a hospital or a hospital’s view.”
I found dust there in the morning,
and sweeping it, I found you.
You, with worn dimples, laugh lines,
track marks, private things under your belt, which you undid
…that gesture, expectantly…
sibilant & becoming, some million microbes shat themselves between us
and other tiny beasts partook of the nutrients, unaware
they had been were expelled like truants,
tattooed, and welcomed into the gang, ratty jumpers
a single tone, some red note, a loaded word but no guns;
they weren’t *those* kids.
Smiling, they saunter in, take up residence on the altar,
stare. I’m comfortable, they may
come at me with borrowed weapons or ply me with drink
then come at me with improvised weapons, it is a sporting affair
for me; they see this and reach to shake, and I oblige them.
It’s all carbon-based star-stuff straight out of an after-school special anyway.
It’s easy to make a triangle out of three points. Or to make such vibrate.
All one requires is a tuning fork or lung capacity,
copper wire & nine volts for some magnetic field,
so I have been humming off-key.

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