When the serpent bites its own tail

Gradually
We became aware
Of a hum in the room
An electrical hum in the room
It went mmmmmm

We followed it from
Corner to corner
We pressed out ears
Against the walls
We crossed diagonals
And put our hands on the floor
It went mmmmmm

Sometimes it was
A murmur
Sometimes it was
A pulse
Sometimes it seemed
To disappear
But then with a quarter-turn
Of the head
It would roll around the sofa
A nimbus humming cloud
Mmmmmm

Maybe it’s the hum
Of a calm refrigerator
Cooling on the big night
Mmmmmm
Cooling on the big night
Maybe it’s the hum
Of our parents’ voices
Long ago in a soft light
Mmmmmm
Long ago in a dimmed light
Mmmmmm

Maybe it’s the hum
Of changing opinion
Or a foreign language
In prayer
Mmmmmm
Or a foreign language
In prayer
Maybe it’s the mantra
Of the walls and wiring
Deep breathing
In soft air
Mmmmmm
Deep breathing
In soft air
Mmmmmm

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