to test unwanted freight, what's loose or still firm,
commit to dyeing the ripest age out.
Then it will implement exercise
-- tai chi, maybe, or deceptive Pilates --
sweep the squirrels off their paws with bouts
of muscular buds not yet burst into fruit.
Watch it stretch and preen under the creep
of false hope, smack its itchy lips with sap.
Don't wait. Check the pockets of its suits,
go through its wallet for credit card ruse.
Assume only the promise of flesh and juice.
Freelance food-and-travel writer JEN KARETNICK'S poems are forthcoming or have recently appeared in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Gastronomica, Alimentum Journal, Georgetown Review, Cimarron Review, North American Review and others. Her chapbook, Necessary Salt, is forthcoming from Pudding House Publications. She lives in Miami with her husband and 2 children, 2 dogs, 4 cats and 14 mango trees.