Skip to content

Log Out



——A [                       ] is not a hybrid of anything.

——–——Brian, San Diego, USA, “Notes and Queries,” The Guardian


You know the fruit I mean.
Friend, I won’t name it since you
asked me not to, but I can’t

help dropping adjacent
honey here: words like freestone
or clingstone, self-fruitful

and with seeds that carry
the recessive allele
for smooth skin. Yes, peaches

for kin, same syrup, same
perfume, just a lucky
deviation sometimes

budding furless from the selfsame
tree, brilliant golden yellow
with a blush of red, its pink-

tinged meat a little firmer
to the touch than, say, the vaunted
plum, which I have eaten,

yes, delicious, but which, no matter
what Kate from Potters Bar
or Jane from Bethel has to say,

constitutes no portion
of this particular
body christened in the drink

of the gods, its name—like
yours—a metaphor
for refusing to disappear.

You know, don’t you, that nature
holds you close and finds no
fault with you? And what about me,

my desires inventing new
desires? What about the apple,
which in Latin shares the word

for evil and which, though in such
abundance lies our choice, we evoke
so much it comes to stand

for any fruit that’s juicy and bears
seed—sibling peach and common
fig—not to mention

illicit knowledge, not to mention
godless death. Anyway, I’m
glad some woman tasted it, let

the rest of us know how
sharp the fall and, yes,
how sweet the flesh.



Melissa Crowe is the author of Dear Terror, Dear Splendor (Wisconsin) and Lo (Iowa), and her work has appeared in Poetry, Poetry Northwest, and New England Review. She coordinates the MFA program at University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she teaches poetry and publishing.




Image depends on its subscribers and supporters. Join the conversation and make a contribution today.

+ Click here to make a donation.

+ Click here to subscribe to Image.

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Receive ImageUpdate, our free weekly newsletter featuring the best from Image and the world of arts & faith

* indicates required