How to Dis/Arm a Female Teacher

By Jen Karetnick

Don’t offer me the Chic Lady Handgun
with a barrel the color of bubblegum,
faux alligator case included
to carry with tests and term papers done,

nor the Ruger with recoil reduced,
semi-automatic, raspberry hued,
to be hung from a bra holster like fruit
until an active shooter has been cued.

Take away the Sig Sauer with Pearlite
grips, single-action slide and sleek night sights,
micro-compact to stash in my purse
(the Rhinestone Carry Gun Handbag by Ritz);

throw out that custom Remington Express
Shotgun, the stock of which I’m told to nurse
against my vested chest in the LimbSaver
Firearm Sling, both patterned in “Mossy

Oak Pink Camo,” the Rust Inhibitor
Rifle Gun Sock with which I can cover
the barrel—there’s no use that I accept
for any of these weapons, no matter

how couture. But the Gun Mug, I admit,
I will trigger if there’s no other choice.
Scalding coffee is the only bullet
I could ever bring myself to shoot.

About the Author

Jen Karetnick is the author of seven poetry collections, including The Treasures That Prevail (Whitepoint Press, September 2016), finalist for the 2017 Poetry Society of Virginia Book Prize. Her poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, Cutthroat, Measure, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Missouri Review, Negative Capability, New Millennium Writings, One, Painted Bride Quarterly, 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.

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