In Blue Moonlight


Graphic by Emmarogenous.

Written by Yermiyahu Ahron Taub. Yermiyahu Ahron Taub is the author of four books of poetry, “Prayers of a Heretic/Tfiles fun an apikoyres” (2013), “Uncle Feygele” (2011), “What Stillness Illuminated/Vos shtilkayt hot baloykhtn” (2008), and “The Insatiable Psalm” (2005). His poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Dark Lady Poetry, Eclectica Magazine, Flutter Poetry Journal, Hill Rag, The Lake, Loch Raven Review, Prairie Schooner, Pyrokinection, and The South Carolina Review. Some of his Yiddish poems were recently set to music by Michał Górczyński and have been performed at various venues in Warsaw, Poland. A CD was recently released on the Multikulti label. Taub was honored by the Museum of Jewish Heritage as one of New York’s best emerging Jewish artists and has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize and twice for a Best of the Net award. Please visit his web site at For more Jewrotica writing by Yermiyahu Ahron Taub, see Early Talkie, From Night to Night, and Portrait of a Predecessor.

Rated PG-13

It isn’t because I give such good head, you know, I tell my sister,
both of us surrounded by her pastries. I admire her flair with the oven,
her mastery of the science of it all—from the simple moistness of her
brownies to the intricacy of her layer cake, embraced by gossamer
frosting. She, with her first-class degree in physics, is at last making
good use of her education. Her eyebrows furrow in disgust, not at my
erotic bluster, but at my “self-abasement,” my contentment with crumbs.
She needn’t state it, just as Father never needed to state his displeasure
with her career choice. It is and was all too apparent.

Of course, there is no response. She sets down her cream puff and gazes
above me, through the window, to the air shaft and the brick wall of the
tenement opposite. She is reminded suddenly of an appointment, how
she has to fetch Mirah from play group, then send her webmaster some
cake photos. In short, she is reminded of why she must stay away from
me, of why her visits to me are so rare and mine to her rarer still. I escort
her to the door and shiver in relief at its closing, at the click of her stilettos
down the stairs. Jimmy Choos? I forgot to ask;
I do care about such things, however beyond my means they are.

I look around at the pastry panorama; I will donate it to the busybody next
door. Perhaps she will be less likely to tsk-tsk at him through a crack
in the door as he goes downstairs, or through lace curtains as he drives
away. Perhaps. I won’t count on it. In any case, I can’t eat any of
this. I need to maintain my figure. Suddenly, with my sister gone, my
confidence has ebbed. Truth be told, I can’t always be sure of his arrival,
when his wife might be away,
when his flight delays or his jetlag will have their way,
when, from among his many calls to return, he might choose mine.

No, I don’t wait for him exactly. I have my work—conveying the glory of the
Torah and Hebrew grammar to the youth of the international set, an occasional
star twinkling among them; my writing, hunched over the Mikra’ot gedolot
and commentaries long into morning. All that’s missing is a cat in the
window to complete the expected scene. Alas there once was one, but I
had to give Blue away. How I miss dear Blue! But he is allergic, you see.
And so I had to choose. In the classroom or at conferences, at the tavern
with the regulars, but especially after mastering the nuances of a
particularly thorny passage, I am destitute with desire for him. Destitute as
in without home, adrift.

Would that it were not so. Would that there were another whose hands,
(massive, gentle), could so electrify me; whose anecdotes, (pointedly
harvested from the antics of NGOs), could so make me smile, of whose
words of need whispered in my skin I would never tire. But there is not.
I have been with him these many years. I know that if this does continue,
this is how it will continue. I know too every step of his wife’s descent,
every nuance of their despair at her barrenness, I know his tears at
midnight over each failed visit to yet another charlatan. This all I know.
And still he comes to me. And still I welcome him.

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