in memory of things that break

a poem for Bubbie

teacups left to cool on tabletops

pink kid scissors

mono chromatography

my glasses in spin class

light on a blustery day

foreplay when you have young children

sex when you have young children

campaign promises

the right heel of my white jimmy choo’s at my wedding

(just kidding, i couldn’t afford the choo
but i told everyone it was anyway)

the extension leaf for family at grandma’s sunday table

tefillin boxes

the love you feel when a baby is first born

the night he left for college

(the morning he returned but only because he forgot his hat)


his brain during a chemistry exam

your heart on pesach

things left unsaid at abba’s funeral

the time you looked in the mirror

(and realized you really did look like me)

Photo by Brannon Naito on Unsplash

Jacqueline Goldfinger

Jacqueline Goldfinger (she/they) is a poet, playwright and librettist. They won the Yale Drama Prize, Smith Prize, Generations Award, and Opera America Discovery Award. They've been a Finalist for a LAMBDA Literary Award for Drama. Their work has been produced and published by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, BBC 3 Radio (UK), FringeArts, Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Gate Theatre (New Zealand), Concord Theatricals/Samuel French, Yale Press, inBetween Magazine, among others.