Liz Chereskin
on the edibility of acorns
yes historically perhaps
ancestral fingernails scraped
at the hulls ground
the oak nuts into cakes
of something bitter
something that tastes
like lacquered furniture
& yes you may have
seen the tiny hands
of squirrels folded
in prayer around the seed
one wet black eye pointed
in your direction from
the crook of a tree branch
though she may
seem content cracking
into the shell with her
pickaxe incisors
we are neither rodents
nor foragers anymore so
you should not eat the acorn
instead be weary of the way
it will grind your soft teeth
the way each nut becomes
shrapnel as it breaks
tearing into internal tissue
or discover an acorn
home to any host of unsavory
worms & weevils or worse
those acorns are steeped in acid
nature’s best formaldehyde
can turn hides to leather even
therefore you should not eat the acorn
instead let it sit or press it into soil
& over time see how it unfolds