Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 23 . . .

Walt Whitman’s Boys

     poem by Jen Karetnick

are bathing near the Moonlight Lounge, intermittent replicas, digging troughs with the glorious shovels of their arms. The sea has slept well in the night and allows the intrusions instead of attempting to throw them out as it does when the moon is a pared fingernail, as it does when the moon is the bottom of a glass, as it does when there is no moon and the papaya trees rustle with fruit rats and wind. The water is so warm that their legs dissolve like salt tablets in the mouths of sprinters, one up to the knees, the next to the thighs, though the boys do not miss their limbs any more than the sky misses clouds when they are absent, and if you poured honey on them they would surely, like eels, become electric.


Poet and writer Jen Karetnick has published six books, including two collections of poetry: Necessary Salt (Pudding House Publications) and Bud Break at Mango House (Portlandia Group), which won the Portlandia Chapbook Award in 2008. She was the winner of the 2011 Piccolo in Your Pocket poem competition and finalist in the UNO Study-Abroad competition. She is the Creative Writing Director at Miami Arts Charter School. “Walt Whitman’s Boys” will appear in her forthcoming collection, Landscaping for Wildlife, coming winter 2012 from Big Wonderful Press.

Iphone-ographer Jaime Ferreyros is a Promotions Producer at TeleFutura. A native Peruvian, he shows his work frequently at galleries in his adopted city of Miami, and has been behind the lens for major companies including HBO and Telemunodo, recording events such as the most recent Olympics. You can see more of his work at


© 2011 Jen Karetnick & Jaime Ferreyros

photo by Jaime Ferreyros

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