A Promise

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Matthue Roth Story2

Photo credit to Solomon and the Queen of Sheba and Black Iris III

Tegan was smooth. Watching her slice artichoke hearts with mathematical precision, then beat the batter hard, like a war, I thought, she probably really did walk the fifteen miles from San Francisco.

We sat at the dinner table until everyone else drifted off to bed. Tegan pushed with her heels, rocking the legs on my chair, and I did my poem, finally, letting the words come all quiet, in a whisper, as though I was making them up just then, as though I was talking to her with those words.

And then she went to bed.
“You can follow me if you want,” she called over her shoulder, pushing open the door to her room.

I skipped after her like a puppy. As soon as we hit the mattress, we both passed out.

I got to synagogue the next morning in time to hear the Song of Songs, the erotic poem that King Solomon wrote to the Queen of Sheba. The one where he talks about breasts and clitori in such detail that the Artscroll prayerbook refuses to publish a literal translation. I barely understand Hebrew and it makes me want to cry and come, both at once.

It took most of the luncheonette outside afterward for me to come down.

Finally the gang got ready to leave. Jimmy touched my shoulder. Are you coming for lunch? he whispered, and I was like, Yes, oh please Hashem, yes. On the way home, Tegan grabbed my arm and whispered in my ear, “Song of Songs got me all aroused, did you get aroused?”

Oh my God. I might be falling for her.

If you’d like to read more, pick up a copy of Matthue’s Yom Kippur a Go-Go here.

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