A Kind of Human Hum
Around the house, I often heard: Spare the rod and spoil the child. I was beaten with belts, switches, heavy kitchen utensils. I learned to say, Yes, sir and Yes, ma’am to every adult but to otherwise keep my mouth shut unless spoken to, which usually involved a command or observation about how if I didn’t close my mouth, flies might get in. And I’d think, how cool, emerald-chested little insects buzzing around inside of me until I’d walk through the world like a kind of human hum, my chest thrumming along with heartbeat, breath, and the whine of little wings, tiny whirlpools of beat and sound, forever.
Jesse Millner’s most recent book of poetry, Memory’s Blue Sedan, was published by Hysterical Books, Tallahassee, Florida, in April 2020. His story, “Last Night I Dreamed,” appears in Best Small Fictions 2020. Jesse lives in Estero, Florida, with his dog, Lucy, who is his entire heart.
A Song for Jesse