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The Yellow Star That Goes With Me

by Jessica Greenbaum

Sometimes when I'm thirsty, I mean really dying of thirst
For five minutes
Sometimes when I board a train
Sometimes in December when I'm absolutely freezing

For five minutes
Sometimes when I take a shower
Sometimes in December when I'm absolutely freezing
Sometimes when I reach from steam to towel, when the bed has soft
blue sheets

Sometimes when I take a shower
For twenty minutes, the white tiles dripping with water
Sometimes when I reach from steam to towel, when the bed has soft
blue sheets
Sometimes when I split an apple, or when I'm hungry, painfully
hungry

For twenty minutes, the white tiles dripping with water
As the train passes Chambers Street. We're all crammed in like laundry
Sometimes when I split an apple, or when I'm hungry, painfully
hungry
For half an hour, sometimes when I'm on a train

As it passes Chambers Street. We're all crammed in like laundry
It's August. The only thing to breathe is everybody's stains
For half an hour. Sometimes when I'm on a train
Or just stand along the empty platform

It's August. The only thing to breathe is everybody's stains
Sometimes when I board a train
Or just stand along the empty platform--
Sometimes when I'm thirsty, I mean really dying of thirst

"Yellow Star" reprinted from Inventing Difficulty: Poems by Jessica Greenbaum.Copyright c 2000 by Silverfish Review Press. Reprinted by permission of Silverfish Review Press.

This poem also originally appeared in The New Yorker. Copyright, 1991, Jessica Greenbaum.
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