White peach

Under the skin,
itself rose soft
but tough, bitter,
the flesh, firm
yet tender
to the knife,
dense with sugars

The flesh, white
not yellow,
white at the border
of green, the colour
of iceberg roses,
with the pallor of illness
at its most alluring

Long before
you reach the stone-heart
with its hard ridges,
you will be up
to your elbows
in runnels of juice,
your fingers dripping

And memory, turned
informer, will tell
that you know already
this bitter-sweetness
you fear and desire –
the linger of it
on your drenched lips

?White Peach? from Eye-Baby (Bloodaxe, 2006), ? Lawrence Sail 2006, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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