Madeleine Eichenberg // EAR WORMS

They sing to me all hours of the day

with perfect voices in perfect pitch,

spitting songs into my head

long past any other voice has gone rough.


They curl around themselves

in coils and loops,

heads sticking out, straining

for air through gaps in zippers.


They sprawl crushed

under textbooks, stomachs pressed to desk tables

with only tiny round heads sticking out.


They try to sing

but can only screech and stutter

spending their days gasping

for air, forgotten

under heavy weights.


They are defunct, defeated, let down and dead.

Wires tangled up and fraying

seeking only to slither away.