Eating a Peach After Midnight

Eugene O'Hare

all my dreams are the same sweat & chase lately.

same labyrinth where i cannot figure which is left

or which is right. i’m a mess. i cannot catch my breath.

 

i slip on wet cobbles, am pursued

by wild dogs who know my dreamworld

like their master’s scent. i’m not fit for another night

of playing the hunted fox.

 

so i climb down through this dark apartment,

and the carpet under my feet seems softer tonight,

and the stars beyond the hallway window

are spread over black cloth like a vast jewelers' market;

white gems winking and wavering; their purchase power

an audacity of light.

 

in the kitchen, where moon rubs her silver polish

into glass and floor, i sit at the table and eat a peach.

 

the first bite is a sung act of worship to the peach tree.

juice must drip freely from the chin. the mouth is stung,

the walls breached, baby, there’s no going back.

hey Sleepy Brain- how does it feel up there

to be goaded and pressed into the stripclub chair

and forced to watch?

 

everything Seneca talked about- the shortness of life

the seizing of the moment- can be found in the eating

of a peach alone after midnight.

it is a place of love & squalor. it is the discovery

of colour, the hard hidden cherry disrobed by teeth

& wet hands.

 

in Eden they played it safe with an apple.

play nothing safe with a peach. find its bad temper,

its stab and choke of laughter, make it your bit on the side,

your moonlight affair, the story they tried to ban.

 

eat a peach after midnight any night you can.

Eugene O’Hare’s recent poems have appeared (or are forthcoming) in Smoke, Invisible City, Cyphers, Atrium and others. Eugene O'Hare's plays are published by Bloomsbury/Methuen.

 

Writer’s comments:

I live among the people who keep the lights on all night in those apartment blocks in Brustein's picture. And I know that moon. The one that pretends to be bigger than it is.

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