Amygdalus Persica (Peach)

For you, sweet thing, only the orchard’s great
volup­tuary, sugar as a heat
mirage, the August sun dripping
over the lip of the world,
brazen, annealed.

For you, love, noth­ing but the incar­na­tion
of hedo­nis­tic lan­guor, sun-hot flesh
so ripe it barely holds itself together,
a radi­ant acid­ity arrayed
around a cor­ru­gated shell

enclos­ing some­thing like an almond. What
can I tell you, dar­ling? Noth­ing changes. Break
its skin and you will always have the same
swift hit to the amyg­dala:
each mol­e­cule of scent is,

for you, my own, a reca­pit­u­la­tion
of an orig­i­nal expe­ri­ence
that grows asso­ci­a­tion like a root
time only deep­ens. And was any­thing
ever more glo­ri­ous than this

expres­sion of long-term poten­ti­a­tion,
of some­thing that comes back and back and each
time big­ger, more potent, all the gaudy rush
of nec­tar down your throat, the hon­eyed light
and all of it only

for you, sweet­heart, and for no other
rea­son than to show how plea­sure
too can con­cen­trate with time
There is the blonde down
on her fore­arm, there

is the drunken, swoon­ing heat
that grew between your voices every time
you thought about the last time, or the next.
There is the way that every word
branched and seemed to set

its own fruit, an abun­dance that could break
itself. It’s all exquis­itely
pre­served, the way that stag­ger­ing
lush­ness con­sumed you even as it was
con­sumed. The peach tree has a message

for you, dear, and it’s this: your mem­o­ries,
your gut reac­tions, your addic­tions, your
con­di­tioned fears and plea­sures, the abil­ity
to be trans­ported by a hint
of per­fume: these things are

for­ever, love, they are immor­tal even
if you are not. How ele­gant design
is, that it does this: you’re reduced
to noth­ing, finally, but all the work
it took to bring you there

stays put. And there’s a thing
deep in the lim­bic brain that says
so, word­lessly col­lat­ing what you feel
so you can learn from it, and it is shaped
just like the ker­nel of the peach.

For you, then, love: the fruit
of com­pli­cated gen­erosi­ties,
of things per­fected by antic­i­pa­tion,
by rec­ol­lec­tion. Fruit of infi­nite
seduc­tion, fruit of liquid

flame, fruit of the vel­vet
glove and the suck­er­punch.
Fruit of oh God, oh yes, of pheromones,
of heat, of incip­i­ent bruises, of over­do­ing it,
of being unable to even want to stop.

– Amy Glynn Greacen


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