They say she likes to suck peaches.
Not eat them, suck them,
tilt her head back and let the juice drip
sticky down her chin,
before licking, sucking,
swallowing the sunshine of it down.
she likes to tease her fruit,
bite ripe summer flesh
just to get that drip going
sweets her elbow with the slip of it,
wears it like perfume.
she’s got a ways to go yet, that girl,
just a blossom yet herself, still bashful ‘round the bees.
no way a girl can tease like that
who’s been bit into once or twice.
So I come ‘round with just a little bit of honey,
just a little, little lick, just enough to catch her eye,
creamed peach honey, just the thing to bring her by.
And I know she’ll let me tell her how the peaches lost their way
how they fell out of a wagon on a sweaty summer’s day,
how the buzz got all around that there was sugar to be had,
and the bees came singing, and the bees came glad.
They sucked – she’ll blush – I’ll tell her,
they sucked that fruit right dry,
‘till it all got tangled up in the heady humming hive.
they made it into honey and they fed it to their queen,
and she shivered with the sweet, and she licked the platter clean,
and she dreamed of sunny meadows and she dreamed of soft ice cream -
I’ll see her lick her lips, and I’ll see her bite a frown,
and I’ll see how she’ll hesitate,
look from me up to the town
and back, and she’ll swallow,
and she’ll say “can I try?”
and I’ll offer like a gentleman, won’t even hold her eye.
Because she’ll have to close them, see.
She’ll have to moan a bit.
and it’s when she isn’t looking
when she’s sighing fit to cry,
that I’ll lick the loving from her,
that I’ll taste the peaches on her
that I’ll drink the honey from her
suck the sweet of her surprise.
Amal El-Mohtar Rhysling Award Winner 2011
This one is great to read aloud.
Poetry and song and maybe culture
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