for Bob

If the dirt of my body came
straight from the Okanagan valley
the fat of them would taste of peaches.

Nipples, taut and high as baby birds
stretching out for food, choke
on the excitement of new life and you
touching me for the first time:

the bees of your fingers and thumbs
buzz little circles into my flesh, find something
that feels like a marble rolling under the skin
and I remember

the mammogram, how it turned them both
to fruit leather—flattened, so that the breastedness of them
spread out until they were nothing—and I remember
how it felt, I remember.

I break the silence to tell you
they’re fine, I’m fine, but the sting of intimacy
leaves a mark on everything it touches:
I know you know what cancer feels like.

The best peach I ever had came all the way
from British Columbia: a yolkful of fruitedness,
a line creasing down the skin of it,
making cleavage—it was the closest thing
to having something holy in my mouth
and I swear it glowed going down my throat.

It was March when you sent that text
to tell me I miss your boobs, and even though
peach season was long gone

I went to Penney’s, found a T-shirt with two shells
on the front—one for right there and there, where
the nest of my breasts rests, where the sting
of intimacy left its mark—

I thought
I’ll wear it the next time
help you find them again:

two birds
cupped in your hands

bring back the taste of peach
to your mouth.