Peach Dream

by Liz Robbins

Kay is an artist and therefore dreams of moving to the country, where she can stop being a radio, a billboard, a siren. She wants to be decaying trees and vines, a hive dried of its honey. Only when inspired would she make her miniature man sculptures from colored tissue and cow dung. Kay’s read books about women artists who follow heart-shaped breadcrumbs to the country, then implode inside their blue cavern skulls. She thinks of Plath, churning cherry jam, Bogan’s house in flames. Whole rooms, pots of fruit, burning. Still, Kay scans the want ads for cheap acres. Her heart, locked in its smoggy pen, bleats. It is only 10 a.m. and she is hungry, imagines her plot of land with a faceless man reaching up to a peach tree. Imagines her plot of land, all the good fruit picked, with only a broken line outlining where the man had stood. 10:03. Lonely? With all her baskets brimming? None yet toppled? But each peach unsalable, carrying her tiny brand. Teeth marks in the flesh.

LIZ ROBBINS’ third collection, Freaked, won the 2014 Elixir Press Annual Poetry Award; her second collection, Play Button, won the 2010 Cider Press Review Book Award. In 2015 she won the Crab Orchard Review Special Issue Feature Award in Poetry and in 2016 was nominated for the Pushcart Prize by Fugue. Her poems have appeared in Adroit JournalBeloit Poetry JournalBOAATDenver QuarterlyKenyon Review Online, and Rattle, as well as on The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor; she has poems forthcoming in Poetry East and Salt Hill. She’s an associate professor of creative writing at Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL.