I’ve read this poem a million times but I’ll never enjoy it as much as the first time I heard it. I was sitting around a bonfire on the beach in Thasos, Greece, and my friend recited it from memory. It reverberated amongst us all, creating some real unity. Because this poem said it–it said how we felt. “There are days we live as if death were nowhere in the background,” like that day, like all those days we spent together in Greece.
From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.
From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.
O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.
There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.