I remember the truck plowing furrows in the dust,
the crates of peaches at our feet. I remember
the globes of flesh, persimmon and rose, each one
a small planet. I remember pollen and honey,
yellow jackets humming between us drunk with sweetness.
We called your belly a peach with our first child,
the thin line where your muscles tore, the slight hairs
that rose on the bulge. I remember the afternoon
we sat with a bowl between us and waited.
At a roadside fruit stand the old woman barren
of teeth chewed at peach pulp, her lips sucking
at the fruit, slowly creating a hollow to the cradled pit.
I remember the soft tear of her lips pulling the seed
loose. She could have been Lamia exacting revenge.
You came home that night silent, only the slightest
tenderness in your walk. We lay in bed and didn't talk,
didn't touch. I remember the trees through the window,
the leaves like cankered tongues; I remember the soft
quiver of your shoulders while we pretended to sleep.
As a boy, I would sometimes find a peach by the road
where it had bounced from the truck. I imagined
the arc of it passing, the comb of golden down.
I remember the cratered earth, skin gone rotten
in the sun. I remember the furrowed pit and syrup
beading the soil.
Some nights sweetness is heavy, nights when you've baked
and peach liquor seeps from the pie. The pits are laid
on a cutting board and I hold each one for its weight.
I remember the round like some small animal curled
in my palm; I remember the glisten, the sticky creases
of skin. It's almost too much to wash my hands.