Graphic by Emmarogenous.

Written by Shayna Abramson. For more work by Shayna, check out Kiruv, In Defense of “Everything But” as a (Modern?) Orthodox Ideal, Chanukah Miracle, Tu B’Av: The Jewish Valentine’s Day?, Fish for Thought: Pants, and The Policeman:A Review.

Rated R
I understand why you gave him the apple, your fingers searching for his nipples, as the well of knowledge grew within you, facts coursing through your veins, metaphors throbbing in your thighs; the sun hit his brown locks just right, and you caught a wrinkle in his forehead. You kissed him gently, your tongue slithering green-skinned softness across your mouths; the rest of the apple lay beside your feet, already being bitten by ants. He thought he tasted a slight acidity in your saliva, and adjusted his chin, but by then the cliches were coursing through him. Words submerged into silence, then re-emerged in the forms of songs he could not fathom.

The Great Voice came trembling through the garden, and you wanted to hold him, to take him deeper. But the well was too shallow, and could not contain these new multitudes. Adam spoke with the Deep, while you tried to stitch together a bunch of fig-leaves, your shaky fingers unable to hold the needle. Thank God for those skin-coats to protect you from the rain.

At night, you bleated silently against him, as he yawned, tired from a day of tilling soil that would not yield. You counted the seconds in between his breaths, and slithered your hands between your thighs. Sometimes you longed for a bite of apple, its crisp flesh wet between your fingers, its skin smooth against your lips, with just a bit of bitter on your tongue, and juice that felt fresh against your teeth.

“Don’t bite me,” he said, when you tried to kiss his shoulder. You promised yourself you wouldn’t cry. You lied.

A great man once told me that lies can bite better than teeth – which is good, I suppose, because he was missing most of his, and a man’s got to eat.

But I understand why you gave him the apple, and sometimes, when I think about it, I have to try not to cry.

Shayna is a native Manhattanite whose interests include Torah, human rights, and poetry. An avid procrastinator, Shayna spends most of her time on Facebook, or watching any game involving the Brazilian soccer team. Brasil para Mundial 2014!