Catching the Peach

The pathologist
who was instrumental
in unravelling
the human genome
has sparkling, kind
blue-ocean eyes.
His yacht, though,
is out of the water,
in town, for sale,
the belt of his 1950s
sheepskin-collared coat
His smile is a
'swim with me'
movie-star drawl
but drifts
then returns, like
small waves lapping
at something and nothing
on a resting tide.
He tells me about
a long-ago motorbike trip
through England to
Scotland, the islands,
Europe, Italy, a
collision with
a fruit cart,
the bounce of colours
on the road.
Then he asks, again,
where I come from,
and I want
to kiss his cheek,
imprint my words there
so he can check them later,
put this unravelling
on hold,
catch the peach
before it hits the ground,
splits, spills -
to be scraped up
and thrown away.

Dawn Gorman
(first published in The Interpreter's House, Issue 57)