A Literary Magazine in Support of the Jewish Community

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Traif by Laura Goldin


I’ll be the matzoh and you be the traif.


You be the sacred wine, sweet as cough syrup, and I’ll be

the single malt we sneak from the bar before the first blessing is said.


I’ll keep the separate milk sink, the blood-red-

ink-labeled meat drawer, the prayer shawl.

You be the lesbian with the shaved head and the butch ball player

you pick up in the park and bring home for the holidays.


You have the dream of the white satin dress, four chuppah poles,

seven circles the bride makes around the groom. I’ll have the north pole

and elves, the man chopping fir trees, the child’s hung stocking.


You be the colored windows of the sanctuary,

the bushy eyebrows of the rabbi, his large-knuckled hands.

I’ll be the girl on his lap not saying no.

You be the one leaving town on the first bus.


I’ll give the grandparents naches. You be the one

throwing stones through the stained glass.

You tell the holy man what to do with his sweet-like-sugar-



I’ll be the shayna punim.

You be the story the way it never happened.

Laura Goldin

Laura Goldin is a publishing lawyer in New York. Recent poems appear or are forthcoming in One Art, Right Hand Pointing, Molecule: A Tiny Lit Mag, Club Plum, Tiny Wren, Blue Heron Review, and Driftwood.


Laura Goldin