Lyn Lifshin



Someone writes kike on

the blackboard and the

"k's" pull thru the

chalk, stick in my


plump pale thighs.

Even after the high

school burns down the

word is written in


the ashes. My under

pants' elastic snaps

on Main St. because

I can't go to


Pilgrim Fellowship.

I'm the one Jewish girl

in town but the 4

Cohen brothers


want blond hair

blowing from their

car. They don't know

my black braids


smell of almond.

I wear my clothes

loose so no one

dreams who I am,


will never know

Hebrew, keep a

Christmas tree in

my drawer. In


the dark, my fingers

could be the menorah

that pulls you toward

honey in the snow.

Lyn Lifshin has published more than 120 books of poetry, including, most recently, Barbaro: Beyond Brokenness (Texas Review Press), Desire (
World Parade Books), Persephone (Red Hen Press), Another Woman Who Looks like Me (Black Sparrow Press at David Godine), The Licorice Daughter: My Year with Ruffian (Texas Review Press), and Before It's Light (Black Sparrow Press).



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