The pickle exists through the simple act
of preservation. Ever searching for the sea,
we mimic her salinity with a generous dousing
of sodium chloride dissolved in scalding water
and turn the whole thing over to vinegar,
to the chemical beauty of mingling molecules
agitating the turmoil of fermentation.
Whether the tucked leaves of a cabbage head
suck the masala pungency from the brine,
or thin moon slices of magenta beets bleed
from the sting of salt, whether mushroom caps,
round and fortunate, or carrots accosted
with the sweet spice of ginger root savor
the brackishness, everything springs
from the deeply plural earth. We store
the marinated concoction and thus safeguard
our futures, stave off our own rotting,
preserve all that is ancient and worthwhile
into one crisp bite of vegetable love.
Amy Nawrocki is a native of Sandy Hook, Connecticut and a graduate of Newtown High School. She is the author of two chapbooks, Potato Eaters and Nomad's End.