(Paul Cézanne, 1890)

This time
I’m sending peaches,
and a summer’s sun
that dawdles in
on last year’s kitchen,
where the plates
are never empty.

Pure vowels
of the unperfected
morning, they are
lain or left out
in whatever
slow tumble
of fruit-fall
they fell from,
casual as rain.

And figs! Echo-
shaped, but so sure
in their small
altering of light,
they remake
the room entirely…

Oh, love, I know:
all of this you’ve heard
already, and words
are not round or heavy
in the way fruit is,
nor soft enough
to satisfy the mouth
or fill the aching palm.

Only, it was not the fruit
of poems that I was sending,
but another easy, breathing,
blemishable thing.

The thought, perhaps,
which if I wished enough
would sail through years
of oceanic air
unchanged,

or need of mine,
which might rain through
a sea-bright room
as stirred to life
as this one is,
to fall, by some half-
miracle of love
or hunger,
whole at last
into your open hands.