A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
Most Hebrew Schools cut the Song of Songs out
of the classrooms.
I would have liked to learn how thighs can be of gold,
what it was to love
a woman whose breath was the very scent
of fresh apricots,
whose young body was the fruit of the palm
in my palms.
But a history of love in open fields must be concealed
from the young,
as King Solomon said, “Never awaken love
until it is ripe”
lest we feel the warmest happiness
before we know the ages of longing it takes
to understand it,
lest we wander cities craving dark, curved women
before we are strong enough
to keep promises,
lest we are taken for good by the glint of light
on eyes the roundness of dates,
the color of figs,
and mistake the untrimmed beards of our rabbis—
of deep compassion—
as the mark of wild and thoughtless lovers.
Copyright 2019 Baruch November. From Bar Mitzvah Dreams published by Main Street Rag.