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.

Recordings

Lawrence Sail Reading from his Poems

1Water

2Calm sea at night

3Rain at sea

4Slack

5Fanfares at Eger

6Singer asleep

7The artist at 81

8Portuguese sonnet

9The age of reason

10Fountains

11Proofs

12Snooker players

13The glimmering

14Driving westward

15Paysages moralisés

16The Meat Commission, Kenya

17Eating maize

18Hammock journeys

19At Possenhofen

20A picture by Klee

21Thinking of Klee again

22Edenic

23Air

24The cablecar

25As a bird

26Another parting

27The enclosures

28Father to son

29In the Bar Italia

30from Ghostings

31Recurrent

32Hallowe'en lantern

33 from Out of silence

34Trees uprooted

35A leaf falling 36On Remembrance Day 37Sloes

38White peach

39A travellers' tale 40Old men walking 41In a dream

42Not at the eleventh hour

43Sea-marks