by Eric Sorensen


The third week of our first themed edition,Your Tech Life, continues with poetry. 

by Erika Dreifus

On Refinding My First Crush on Facebook

Once Facebook informed me that I’d been tagged
I clicked over to find, straight from 1978,
my third-grade class portrait, the last
before my family’s momentous move
to another state. My smile stretched
the length and breadth of decades
as I read my old classmates’ comments.
For while some had labeled me “Unknown”
or recalled just my first name (misspelled, still)
it was Anthony,
not once seen or spoken to these thirty-plus years,
who supplied my last name, too.




The Smell of Infection

In the waiting room, I scanned Twitter
and saw a threaded conversation that hurt my heart.
At that moment, though, a more urgent pain
pulsed in an upper left molar.
Hence, this appointment.

With the Novocain injected and my mouth numbed,
the dentist went to work.
The drill buzzed; an offensive odor filled the air.
“That,” said the dentist from behind his mask,
“is the smell of infection.”

About an hour later—
the root canals scraped and scrubbed
bacteria flushed, decayed tissue removed,
medicine applied, pressure blessedly relieved—
the stench was gone.

Perhaps, reading Twitter, or Facebook,
some people are too anesthetized to understand—
to read or hear the lies, the hate, the violence;
to sniff out, in sentence after sentence,
that oh-so-sulfurous smell of infection.

Think how grave the situation, when there is no skilled clinician,
no essential scraping or scrubbing:
The bacteria multiply.
The pressure builds.
And the smell of infection worsens.


About the painter: Eric Sorensen is a medical student and artist who loves painting, drawing, and photography. After college he studied painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. Image: Painting, mixed media on panel (2014), part of a series exploring the unexpected textures that arise when contrasting materials come together.