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In the summer of 1937, if I’m not mistaken,
my aunt, my father’s sister, who was in charge
of the lives of plants
(new shoots peeking out of boxes
in the university’s botanical garden),
took me with her
up to Mount Scopus
and there, facing the sunburned desert, I helped her water them,
and there she tricked me, my aunt Tsipporah,
into eating cheese,
soft white cheese.
That year I could already read the newspaper headlines
and the names inside black-framed boxes
of Jews killed with knives and bullets,
and in the hut among the plantings
my aunt peeled the wrapper from the cheese
and I imagined to myself
that the wrapper was a partition between me and her breast
which never filled
since she had no children.
It happened more than sixty years ago
and I’m still alive, and I
love cheese.