Mr. Sciatica comes and goes
as he pleases.

A cousin of lightning,
he flashes down either leg.

He is a pair of pliers
pinching nerves,

a grizzly bear
biting my ass,

that relative
who won’t stop complaining.

Bend or turn just right
and he is an arrow lodging deep in the hip.

He can hit his target
with his eyes closed.

It’s only when the pain ebbs away
I realize he has disappeared . . .

Mist rising
into air.


Mark Thalman is the author of Stronger Than the Current, The Peasant Dance, and Catching the Limit. His poems have appeared in the Paterson Review, The MacGuffin, Pedestal Magazine, and Valparaiso Review, among many others. Please visit