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Tkhines for a Pimple

Julie Enszer

Baruch atah Shekinah

Blessed be she

May your light lessen

the giant pimple 

growing on the side

of my nose

red and oozing with pus


May sun dry 

this inflamed skin

may pustules empty

and heal clear


may the hormonal rage

erupting in my skin

lessen as the days pass


May healthy skin emerge


Marathon (3) by Henry Rosenberg

Tkhines for
Abnormal Menses

Sarah Rebecca Leah Rivkah

You know the years and years of

regular menses

every twenty-eight days

or thirty-one days

and a patter of bleeding

three to seven days

but now the blood is no longer


now the blood comes at any time

or doesn’t come at all

it is clotty and dark

or grey and thin

it is not like it was

and I want it to just

end gracefully

but the gynecologist

spouts statistics

and raises the specter

of cancer and

I want your strength my foremothers

I want your long long lives

Tkhines for
Plunging a Toilet

Baruch atah Shekinah

Spirit of the universe

who brings dignity

to all life on earth

to all labor

necessary for the sustainment

of human life

the the work of 

plunging this toilet

with disintegrating

toilet paper floating

in the bowl

a clog that exceeds the usual one plunge

a clog that requires robust plunging

and bailing of the gray water

more plunging

oh great one

clear this clog 

and send me on my day

free and unplugged

with a strong flush

a solid swoosh

in the bowl

Julie Enszer

Julie R. Enszer, PhD, is the author of four poetry collections, including Avowed, and the editor of OutWrite: The Speeches that Shaped LGBTQ Literary Culture, Fire-Rimmed Eden: Selected Poems by Lynn Lonidier, The Complete Works of Pat Parker, and Sister Love: The Letters of Audre Lorde and Pat Parker 1974-1989. Enszer edits and publishes Sinister Wisdom, a multicultural lesbian literary and art journal. You can read more of her work at

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