You see this peach. Before it can slip into a bowl, it must lose its skin, must come out of its whole. Two minutes in boiling water will do the trick. Balance the hot fruit on the wide wooden spoon. Bear it to the cutting board. Slip the knife's tip under the piping skin and it will exhale. Slide the knife into the fruit, carve it to hemispheres, and the skin will loosen off in your fingers: hollow membrane, empty cup. The skin pile will grow and grow. Your fingers will wet and stick with juice. Will sometimes push into the flesh. Will pull flesh from flesh in chunks, in halves. Will find the reddened center, pluck it out, cast it away. Will stroke sharp steel through what is left, back and back.

Slices will be where spheres were. These cuts will be, will not undo, will startle your own flesh with their cold and silent ease. You will not cry, not while you boil, peel, pit, cut. Only, and only maybe, when you recall the warm, reddened gold of those rounds, there where you first saw them, so many, in rows and rows and piles. Only, and only maybe, when you remember that soft sweet of your fullness, your shy hope there might be something there for you to choose.