“In the Photic Zone” by Jen Karetnick

"Dive" by Madeline Partner / madelinepartner.com


When the glaciers have calved
so much of their weight that the matter

of my home changes state, bring me
the whales, those Cuisinarts of the ocean

flat beating the layers of the sea
like cake batter with each deep

dive and sound, icing the surface
with expulsions of iron-rich

excrement that feeds the drift
of sunlight. What we think we own

will no longer be ours to claim,
but the leaves of every book

we’ve ever read, libraries
of poems lingering in the water

like sonar, will green
and green and green and green.



Jen Karetnick is the author of three full-length poetry collections, including The Treasures That Prevail (Whitepoint Press, September 2016), finalist for the 2017 Poetry Society of Virginia Book Prize, and four poetry chapbooks. The winner of the 2017 Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Contest, the 2016 Romeo Lemay Poetry Prize and the 2015 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Prize, her work appears or is forthcoming in Amuse-Bouche/Lunch Ticket, Crab Orchard Review, Cutthroat, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, JAMA, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Missouri Review, Salamander, and Verse Daily. She is co-editor of the daily online literary journal, SWWIM Every Day (@SWWIMmiami).