The Hum

Adam Stutz

Mom said:

It is an invisible string, taut,

pulled from the crown,

a window decoration

           against the hum abrasive—

a wooden dancer

           against the abrasive hum.

           She said:

These are cities of sharp joys,

           skies of broken inks,

skins of sun’s sons.


Dad said:

It is strung invisibly—

hooked, latched against

                      the wish bone,

this bleached armor,

           diligent w/ erosion,

the epaulettes cracked

           throughout w/ persistence.

           He said:

These are houses of lovely splinters,

           streets of familiar fractures,

heroes w/ sweet demise.


Brother said:

The string creates an invisible it,

rigid, narrow around the voice.

It swindles in cup games,

           dresses windows for murders,

creates an economy of parlor tricks,

dressing up violence casually.

           He said:

These are cinemas

           of false divinations,

           tortures from possibilities,

trophies for mantles.


Sister said:

strung up, it remains invisible,

desiccated, a bound up corsage,

skeleton wearing shadows,

a standing gate

           pushing back

against dancers tied to alleys.

           She said:

these are the gallows


these terrible instructions

           of red-rimmed eyes,

           this weight of the stain

that doesn’t end.