A Brief History of Our Love

Lenny DellaRocca

Lenny DellaRocca

I must've tugged her from the village where her mother
sold fruit near fountains,
where her father pulled
lemons from clouds, because
she said, Go back to sleep.
I had climbed out of my
crib, ran to her bed,
her hair a black dress
on her pillow.
Ma, I said, cows are biting me.
A wide-eyed rubber calf 
stared at me all night. 
It felt like a hot eye
on my belly.
When I was older 
she told me her mother 
couldn't touch peaches. 
The fuzz, she said, burned her hand. So she'd put an apple slice 
in her wine and a bellyache 
in her milk. 
What does that mean, 
I said. I don't know, 
she said. Forget it. 
This was part of a dialogue
we had all her life,
half sentences in cream.
When I told her that Dutch
settlers planted chives 
for their cows to flavor milk,
and when a farmer shot 
a woman from the Wappinger
tribe for stealing a peach 
from a tree in his garden, 
the Peach War ensued 
three hundred years before my birth. She said, You're not mine.

Lenny DellaRocca is founding editor and former publisher of South Florida Poetry Journal. He’s the author of five poetry collections and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He invented the Epoem.

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