Clade Song 12 left

Clade Song 12


The Stink-Bug

I get no chance to name anything myself. The new
creature names everything that comes along.
Mark Twain, Extracts from Adam’s Diary

You were so out of place
there on my calendar—
half an inch long,
shield-shaped, mottled brown—
not menacing, not apologetic.
For a good half-minute
it was just you and me.
Then I had to make you gone,
took the calendar outside,
brushed you off.

Afterward I had to name you,
know whom I’d just met.
My smartphone knows everything.
Brown marmorated stink-bug,
what you do, what you want.
No touch = no stink,
no cause for alarm.

That half-minute comes back,
that anonymous
interval we shared.
If there’s an enemy
it’s my phone, knowing
everybody’s name, inhabited
by everything.

Clade Song 12 Right

Steve Nickman's poetry collection, To Sleep with Bears is now available from Wordtech (2022). He is a psychiatrist who works mainly with kids, teenagers and young adults. He has a strong interest in the experiences and dilemmas of adoptees and their families, and is working on a book about therapy, The Wound and the Spark. Steve's poetry has recently appeared in Pleiades, Nimrod, Summerset Review, Tar River Review, Tule Review, and JuxtaProse. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts and is a member of Poemworks: The Workshop for Publishing Poets.




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