Thank you for the irregular heart of my face, the sand
in my skin, the dark yellow rim in my eyes. Thank you
for the burnt red in my hair, the hard stare, Minnie,
sit with me, drink
a glass of peppermint schnapps. I want to tell you
of these things: the pickles I let rest on my tongue,
the ginger I grind in my gums, I want
to ask you why
I spell every Yiddish word wrong? Why my language
fits like a coat I stole from a barroom
I wear thin shirts, show my stomach and bare arms
on public streets. I let the skin of my tattoo loose
like a flag for your brother, your sister, your parents.
sit with me, hold my cigarette. Show me how you close
the hot tip inside of your cheeks. Show me how
you once lifted your skirt to dance on a rooftop in rain,
your face as hard
as an unsoaked bean. How underneath there are coals.
Enough to keep the house warm.
Corie Feiner is an award-winning poet, performer, and educator. Called, “wonderful” by The New York Times, she is the author of the poetry collection, Radishes into Roses, and the children’s book, Who Was Born at Home? A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has been published in journals such as Zeek, Voices Israel, Tiferet & The Jewish Review. Corie is the former Poet Laureate of Bucks County and poetry editor emiratus of the Bellevue Literary Review.