Erin Keane 


Brewing Kombucha in Your Home Kitchen

The pamphlet says we’re to call it the mother
but I won’t, I won’t. And yet I invite it in. 

Oh howdy, Big Mama—the jar of kombucha 
squats on my shelf, an all-seeing eye 

scouting my bad habits, my cold soups 
eaten straight from the can. Fermenting 

pancake. Beefsteak ear slice eavesdropping
in a wet, crumbling wood. Drink of her vinegar

tea and be cured, but of what? Most stories 
want to be uncommon. Don’t some bacteria 

erupt in the dark? The mother brews. Stews.
Her pickled heart rotting, a puckering tart.  

Spores explode. My runaway DNA scatters
in the water, pinballs off glass walls—feed

the mother sugar, watch the daughters foam.
Every family’s a working experiment. Now

the baby wails, so hungry. Pour your mother
a cocktail, love. The jar, it’s fat with her secrets.

Round as her mouth, let it breathe like a wound. 


Erin Keane is the author of three collections of poetry. The latest, Demolition of the Promised Land, was published by Typecast earlier this year. Her writing has appeared in journals, magazines, newspapers and anthologies, including Salon, where she's an entertainment reporter, and Barrelhouse, The Collagist, Redivider, PANK, and The Louisville Review


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