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Vibratory signals & pheromones mediate the reproductive behavior of stinkbugs. Cultivate sexual responsiveness. The brown marmorated stinkbug wears a decorative shell adorned by two large eyes & red ocelli. Dress femininely. During diapause, the female congregates in warm, tight crevices like the folds of curtains—her period of suspended development. Practice covering offenses with grace. The appetite is voracious. Show respect. Foraging relentlessly, it leaves insufferable devastation across orchards & forests. Never walk around with a scowl. While an infestation can derail the emotional tone of a home, there are tips to deter these insects from invading & making it a place of anxiety, not peace. & Tips if they are already inside: both include observing, caulking, isolating, & vacuuming. The Christian husband must combat bitter femininity with joyful masculinity—observing the wife’s frumpy attire, caulking her frowns into a whole lot of smiles, isolating her sexual agency, vacuuming boundaries & expectations. The other option is to squash them—the eponymous stink like rotten cilantro also helps with mating.


is the state of lying next to another in bed without touching / according to an 1817 medical dictionary / the word sounds like a Saxon virus or cabbalistic chant / Tonight in a quiet house / nine years of marriage / it sounds like us /Accubitus in a four-poster bed / headboard A / two Cs asleep / U shaped sheet tucked / thick B quilt covering / pillows stacked I high / arms stretched a perfect T / & the lexicon pages flipped to the failure of US


There’s an unspoken exchange

in front of my house each day

my dogs tossing dreadful yaps

over our fence like the morning

paper but in reverse smacking

the steady string of pedestrians

with a sudden unwelcome racket

terrifying & exasperating:

One neighbor barks back. She

chucks discount cigarette butts

over our fence like her personal

ashtray. Our yard becomes some

nicotine graveyard of lipsticked

headstones, a cathedral door of

95 tobacco theses. She struts off

hacking & coughing.


Whether a Brew-thru or a Ski-thru, the rules are roughly the same. No different is the etiquette for an I-Do-thru or the Grieve-thru. Perhaps there are some unspoken guidelines for a four-beat gait approaching the Equus-thru or spandexed cyclists clipped into titanium for the Bike-thru. You find the wireless headset sexy. It ignites hidden trigger pads’ buzzing your arrival. The menu board confirms the wisdom of stopping there.

Whether your specific continent offers a left- or right-side window, air pressure or bulletproof, walk-up or food truck, you know you want what you can get without having to find a spot to park. You need the goodness that is offered & are willing to pay for it, but you cannot commit the time, stop your life long enough to enter the dragon’s den, head covered, knees bowed, & palms upturned. You want what’s inside but do not care to enter.


Candice Kelsey [she/her] is a poet, educator, and activist currently living in Augusta, Georgia. She serves as a creative writing mentor with PEN America's Prison & Justice Writing Program; her work appears in Grub Street, Poet Lore, Lumiere Review, Hawai'i Pacific Review, and Slant, among other journals. Recently, Candice was chosen as a finalist in Iowa Review's Poetry Contest and Cutthroat's Joy Harjo Poetry Prize. Her third book, titled A Poet, just released with Alien Buddha Press. Find her @candicekelsey1 and

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