April 11, 2014

Jen Karetnick

To a Stone, Caught in the Rube Goldberg Digestion Machine

Oh, stone, I found you A) sedimentary, striated B), on a beach long ago in Boston, digging C) with other freshman; learned D) how you can be added to E) over the years but also compressed, disguised F), worn thin G) by patient effluvia; until buried H) in the peat of a human organ I), secluded in the lowest lobe J), you taught me K) body geology L), that a pebble of calculi can activate M) non-activity N) when food is raised O) to teeth and tongue P), pulling strings Q) to saliva, which initiates R), a swallow impulse S), which spills T) oxalates down a water slide U) into stomach, where it is squeezed V) into the deep pool of coils that remain W) as passive as sand, signaling X) the cessation of the self-operating Y) dignity that is easier to crack Z) than I thought.

Photo: Zoe Cross
Jen Karetnick works as the creative writing director at Miami Arts Charter and a freelance food-travel writer. She is the author of four chapbooks of poetry, one forthcoming: Prayer of Confession (Finishing Line Press, 2014). Her full-length debut, Brie Season, will be published in late 2014 (White Violet Press). Her poems have appeared widely in publications including Cimarron Review, North American Review and River Styx, and are forthcoming in december, Hospital Drive and Seneca Review. She lives in Miami with her husband, two children, three dogs, four cats and fourteen mango trees.

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