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Stridulation Sonnet

About this Poem 

“I wrote this poem during a summer visit to Asheville, North Carolina, where there was a tremendous thunderstorm nearly every night, followed by a chorus of crickets. From my wife Nickole Brown, a poet somewhat obsessed with insects, I learned these chirps signal either a warning from one male to another, an intended seduction, or a triumphant mating. So what could be more sensual and sonnet-worthy than that—a night holed up beneath a tin roof, listening first to the sky open up, then a thousand small creatures crying out for each other?”
Jessica Jacobs

Stridulation Sonnet

Jessica Jacobs

Tiger beetles, crickets, velvet ants, all
know the useful friction of part on part,
how rub of wing to leg, plectrum to file,
marks territories, summons mates. How

a lip rasped over finely tined ridges can
play sweet as a needle on vinyl. But
sometimes a lone body is insufficient.
So the sapsucker drums chimney flashing

for our amped-up morning reveille. Or,
later, home again, the wind’s papery
come hither through the locust leaves. The roof
arcing its tin back to meet the rain.

The bed’s soft creak as I roll to my side.
What sounds will your body make against mine?

Copyright © 2015 by Jessica Jacobs. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 8, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2015 by Jessica Jacobs. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 8, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

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