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It's Just a Peach

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It's just a peach.

I lift one up and gently fondle its skin. I spin it in my hand and admire the warmth of its color, the soft creamy yellow that fades into sunny orange, dappled with crimson blotches. It's His own summer fireworks show, right here in my hand. This delicate fuzz yields to the slightest pressure, my mouth waters. I heft its weight, gently caress its yielding flesh and guess it to be about six or seven ounces.

But it's just a peach.

I lift it to my nose and breathe deeply. I recognize elements of vanilla, chamomile, lemon, papaya and honeysuckle.

Exhale.

I close my eyes as I run my right thumb over this peach. I see a warm bowl of oatmeal covered with glistening peach quarters, the steam carries aromas of real maple syrup and a melting knob of butter.

Inhale.

I see sparkling peach salsa with dabs of sweet onion, fresh lime, flecks of chive, black pepper and spicy grilled jalapeno as it's hungrily spooned over grilled Catfish.

Exhale.

I see large dices of chilled peaches, tumbling over a glittering, sugar topped shortcake. A scoop of vanilla and cinnamon scented cream, whipped until it forms unsteady peaks, gently settles over the peaches. The heat from the shortcake forms little cracks in the cream's integrity and creates shimmering pools of fat at the furthest reaches of the plate.

Inhale.

I see my wife's eyes sparkling as she offers me a scorching hot taste of peach jam, redolent with cinnamon stick, cane syrup, lemon peel and vanilla bean.

Exhale.

I open my eyes. It's just one peach. I carefully look over my shoulder then take a small bite. The fuzz tickles my tongue, the hair on the nape of my neck bristles as the flesh surrenders its moisture and I close my eyes; flavors of Carolina and Gewurztraminer, Louisiana and honey cascade across my palette, memories of summer meals, past and forthcoming.

But it's just a peach.

I wipe my chin on my shoulder and grin as my wife slips her hand across my waist and quizzes me. She wants to know what I'm eating. I wink then move to kiss her, her eyes close, our lips meet and my left hand glides down her back. Her lips curl into a smile as she recognizes the flavors of summer on my tongue. She pulls me close then whispers, "Oh, it's a peach."

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