Poetry: Jen Karetnick’s “What We Did”


What We Did

We did handstands and YOLO leaps at the Holocaust Centers.
We photo-bombed other tourists at the Holocaust Centers.
We fish-lipped into selfies at the Holocaust Centers.
We posted Insta stories of Shuvits and Front Foot Impossibles on our boards at the gravel
pits of the Holocaust Centers.
We stacked effects and filters at the Holocaust Centers—
Snap game so strong, good as gas masks at the Holocaust Centers:
Now you see it, now you don’t at the Holocaust Centers.
We spread blankets between the barracks, snacked on Brie and drank Cabernet at the
Holocaust Centers.
We told ourselves, “Joy is resistance,” at the Darwinian knots of barbed fences, howling
louder than Ginsberg ever could, at the Holocaust Centers.
We denied ourselves nothing at the Holocaust Centers.
We repeated everything we were told at the Holocaust Centers.
We captioned it all with a ☺ at the Holocaust Centers.

Jen Karetnick is the author of seven poetry collections, including American Sentencing (Winter Goose Publishing, May 2016)—which was a long-list finalist for the Julie Suk Award from Jacar Press—and The Treasures That Prevail (Whitepoint Press, September 2016), which is a 2017 finalist for the Poetry Society of Virginia Book Award. She received an MFA in poetry from University of California, Irvine, and an MFA in fiction from University of Miami. Her poetry, prose, playwriting, and interviews have appeared recently or are forthcoming in TheAtlantic.com, The Evansville Review, Foreword Reviews, Guernica, The McNeese Review, Negative Capability, One, Painted Bride Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Prime Number Review, Spillway, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Waxwing, and Verse Daily. She is co-director for the reading series, SWWIM (Supporting Women Writers in Miami).

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