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Holy Thighs

I know why you went to Israel, land of milk and honey: my sweet lord, Jesus or Yahweh or Allah. You wanted to walk His steps, taste His blood, follow His laws. But listen, my children, and I’ll tell you … Read More

By / February 1, 2006

I know why you went to Israel, land of milk and honey: my sweet lord, Jesus or Yahweh or Allah. You wanted to walk His steps, taste His blood, follow His laws. But listen, my children, and I’ll tell you why I went:

thighs. Only thighs, and nothing more.

Come closer, I’ll tell you: He was on TV, a soldier in olive-green, eyes like cracked olives. He crouched to light a cigarette. Camera followed. Rumpled hair, open shirt. He stood, and camera— caught by surprise—stayed, lingered:

there, in the inverted V of his groin. Pants

tight, taut against thighs: archway– open promise to desert, this small kingdom of passion and pain. Camera and I melted at the legs on this man: harsh as the land, rocks of Gibraltar, mountains to smash my head against.

American thighs were not the same. My boyfriend

had a brilliant mind, crooked smile, but chunky thighs, padded ass: he semi- jiggled as he walked. No athlete he: I’m a talking head, he said proudly While I, glum, watched him from bed. He swam two laps and got winded, never

walked when he could drive. I made him

quote Kant, James and Kierkegaard, but Lord be my witness, I saw only my soldier, slammed into him— harder, harder—

I moved to Israel, had no choice. ’68 was still gold and light, a dazzling land:

Hebrew down to our toes, soldier girls

strutting, men’s cigarette packs tucked in short sleeves. I dragged my suitcase out and breathed in: holy air—dust, flowers and sweat. Then I saw them, rubbed my eyes and blinked to be sure: oh my God, an army of men: tall, dark, blond,

muscle and bone men, Marlboro ad men,

side-curled men, pale scholar men, soldiers in khaki and unlaced boots, grizzled and bearded, virgins and lovers, sun-dappled and corn-thatched, men as delicious as my mother’s lasagne, a black-eyed man who made me ache,

right there on holy ground,

milk and honey drenching me. I fell to my knees, pressed my Jewish thighs to the ground, and cried: Hallelujah! Thank you Lord! I’ve come home! And I’ll be ever so good! Amen.

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