To Eat a Peach

As I exit
the world of green dinosaurs
fused from abandoned rusty automobiles
and steaming in the sun,
a child offered me a giant peach
harvested from a Palisade tree
grown in the valley’s katabatic winds.

It tasted of harsh-sweet stolen pleasures,
lust and greed and love and dried fruit,
full of Ute tears and diverted waters,
memories between prayers and laments
buried deep, sprouting new
on rolling plains laced with spice
breezes and Buffalo.

It had evolved flesh pregnant with two hemispheres
to be split midway
by thumbs meant to be coated with pulp
juice pooling to palm lifelines.

I knew it fed me its sweetness
in cupped hands, not a gift
but a sacrifice to be sniffed
and tasted like an old vintage
barreled decades for a loving tongue.

Its red blush collapsed into
a tawny mass that matched the day’s light,
remaining fuzzy flesh a gold skull—
the ancient colors full of guilt and redemption
and red shame and love and twilight,
a thing existing slightly
out of season, fully sweet
yet almost taboo, almost cursed,
the lustful last bite of life.

I bought a half dozen more peaches from the parent
standing slightly just behind the child
busy cradling them into a paper craft bag
rolling them into darkness far from light
and the frozen extinction crushed
by the din of overpass traffic from above.

I noticed the sun fade from the earth,
a scorned lover removing her gaze,
until there exists a tattoo
memory of love and ripening peaches.

I took the small change
aware that the peaches would rot to
mold, uneaten, unwanted, the pit unplanted.

Notes:

A katabatic wind is a drainage wind, a wind that carries high-density air from a higher elevation down a slope under the force of gravity.