For Pleasure

Piglet: How do you spell love?
Pooh: You don’t spell it, you feel it.
—A.A. Milne

The more we know about peaches
the more we know we know nothing.
There is the science of it, so much

to learn about rootstocks and vigor
and nutrient sprays—how much
calcium, how much boron or zinc

and how much to water and when.
And the plusses of pruning them
into a V shape versus a four-limbed

open vase. And the best way to
inhibit crown borers (as it turns out,
with pheromones so moths can’t mate).

Which varieties are sweetest, which
cling to the pit—it is all in the when
and the what of it. But more and more

I see how the how is a mystery.
There’s the alchemy of cell division,
the luck of escaping the frost.

But the how of it, how did the peach
evolved into globes of golden juice?
We write theories of efficiency, theories

of survival, theories of endurance
but what does it amount to, really,
when there is the luscious reality of peach,

and this is how, on the edge of
autumn, we might remember
not how, but why we breathe.


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