White Peaches

G. C. Waldrep Click to

waldrepG.  C. Waldrep’s most recent books are a long poem, Testament (BOA, 2015) and a chapbook, Susquehanna (Omnidawn, 2013).  With Joshua Corey he edited The Arcadia Project: North American Postmodern Pastoral (Ahsahta, 2012).  His new collection, feast gently, is due from Tupelo Press in 2018.  He lives in Lewisburg, PA, where he teaches at Bucknell University and edits the journal West Branch.

In darkness I move around my house
as a blind man might, touching
the walls, the furniture, small objects,
my own body.  But this is not
blindness, this is darkness.  A sheath
protects us from what is merciful.
On the kitchen counter, white peaches
plush in their basket of moonlight.
I must have bought them
but I can’t remember where or when.
Little moons, come sing to me:
even gently, while winter surrounds
the blood’s church, its brutal
angel.  Let time be a music, a larger love
within snow’s high architecture,
the saline cloth of prayerlight’s city
voice.  Fawns left almost beautiful
in blood-time mean something:
smallest dream, father-touch; meat-
touch, a glass sound.  Faith
scars this god-field, friend, outside
memory (and other perfect waters).
Every being shares its gravity with us,
its cold ticking, the body a soul
sewn into day’s garment of lidless eyes.
Once you heard a green music.
Did you reach out, then, salt-father?
Did you warm these globes
with your bare hand?  As I
warm them now, severed against
all their radiant half-lives.
The pale flesh ripening, a velvet myth
in the register of ash, the treble
clef of ash.  I am allowed to taste
each liquid rest exactly once.
Be matchgirl to my vagile orchard,
blind winter’s compact gland
adrift in frost.  How I succor love:
unribbed, as a third hand or balance—
the stone concealed in flesh,
its dim refulgence, a possession
I open my veins to, in regal splendor.