Lee Sharkey

Parable of the peach

The peach was perfect, vulva-clefted, never been refrigerated, fragrant in blush
She had been saving it for breakfast, imagining the burst when she bit in
A company of soldiers, breakfasted on rations, helmeted and shielded, gusseted with canisters and rifle-
slung, arrived by dark
Ringing the village. The unassailable perfection of the ring
Sunrise brushed the dust and turned sleep inside out
Their noose of words: Curfew, closed zone
She’d been about to bite
Pots, water tanks clanged outrage from the rooftops
The peach in her hand, hot, soft…
Flung through the air at a boy soldier
She, radiant. He, as if his mother had slapped him

Lee Sharkey
“Parable of the peach” is from A Darker, Sweeter String (Off the Grid Press, 2008).