Jen Karetnick

I Drink to Irony
by Jen Karetnick

— At Grand Residences, Puerto Morelos

All afternoon, the two Americans
at the pool bar in Mexico squabble
like blue jays at a bird feeder about
immigrants. You should be fired,
the woman says to the man who turns

families away from invisible lines.
You let too many in. You do a bad job. Full
of certainty as she is of blood. Both
lack empathy, melanin. Infrared,
the agent spends more of what he earns.

They down shots of silver, shudder like fans.
I swirl reposado in a bubble
glass, chat with the bartender about expat
communities nearby. How well they fare.
After each sip, I breathe out to stem the burn.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 22, Issue 3.

Jen KaretnickJen Karetnick is the author of seven poetry collections, including The Treasures That Prevail (Whitepoint Press, September 2016).She is co-editor of SWWIM Every Day. Find her on Twitter @Kavetchnik. More at


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