A Brief History of Our Love

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.