Spotlight: Incantation for the God Gene

Cast away the coins
closing your lids.

Roll off the stones
weighing your limbs.

This is what we know:
Every Good Book

when in doubt
is named again.

We inherit the sins
of our glossolalia,

secreting the Divine like sex.
The seat of the soul

is in the genitals,
the road to Mecca,

Jerusalem, Damascus
a network of nerves

like so many places
to get lost, a corn maze

with only one true center.
Fire the pathways

of hymns and prayers.
It is not the hand

that inscribes that turns
the snake to serpent.


Jen Karetnick is the author of seven collections of poetry, including The Treasures That Prevail (Whitepoint Press, 2016), finalist for the Poetry Society of Virginia Book Prize. Her poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, Cutthroat, Measure Press, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Missouri Review, New Millennium Writings, One (Jacar Press), Painted Bride Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Prime Number Magazine, Spillway, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Verse Daily, and Waxwing. She is co-founder/co-curator of the not-for-profit organization, SWWIM (Supporting Women Writers in Miami), and co-editor of the daily online literary journal, SWWIM Every Day.