That twin pair of bean-shaped 
kidneys sit curved in the lower back 
to lie on, like a sun-lounger, Las Vegas, 
1958, by the kidney-shaped swimming-pool, 
suntan oil, cat-eye sunglasses, the gurgle 
of the filtration system, skimming out 
leaves and other organic debris. Your 
poolboy comes, his mesh basket 
at the end of his aluminium pole, 
skimming out your toxins, dissolving 
them into urine for the journey down 
the ureters to your bladder 
for excretion, effective immediately. 
Cranberry juice is an excellent 
urinary alkilinizer, restoring pH. 
You order one. It is delicious: 
long glass, wedge of lime, 
ice-cubes tinkling, slim straw, 
hot pink paper parasol twirling under a 
supersaturated, mushroom-cloud, 
nuclear test-ground sky. 

O, thyroid

O, thyroid, the whitecoats say you are overactive but you’re not, you give me energy for my frenemies, anemones, foxgloves, rubber-gloves, washing dish liquid for crystal-clear cut-glass. You butterfly yourself around my thorax and larynx like a tiny chicken-breast, matchbox spatchcock, just below my Adam’s Apple but where is Eve, The Serpent, that hissing tempter – vessel for Satan – with his ruby eye and slippery tongue, wanting me to eat of the fruit, devour, swallow half-way till it gets to you, O, thyroid, you clever gland: secrete away, secrete away ‘cause I don’t need no supplements, no thyroid-stimulating hormone, intone bankloan to make me moan. 


Natasha Dennerstein was born in Melbourne to a family originating in Belarus. She worked as a psychiatric nurse for many years, which gave her an interesting perspective on the human condition. In 2011 she competed the MA in Creative Writing at the IIML at Victoria University. Natasha has poetry published in 4th FloorLandfallSnorkelJAAMTakaheBloom and in several anthologies. She is currently living in San Francisco, where she is an MFA candidate in poetry in the Creative Writing Department at San Francisco State University.