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Joy Holley

just peachy

you told me that outside, the air smelled like peaches
and I wondered if I had heard you right because it was so unlike you to say
but I wanted to believe you because I had just poured my smoothie into a china bowl
and thought to myself that it was the exact colour of a peach
even though there were no peaches anywhere,
not even at moore wilsons, not even outside
so if the air really did smell like peaches it must have been coming from a flower
that smelled like peaches, or some other fruit
like how my smoothied apples and carrots and pineapples looked like peaches
even though they weren’t
I had a friend who loved peaches
in the same way that the whole internet loves peaches:
white girls holding peaches, black girls holding peaches, peaches in squares
her name on the internet was peach square, and all she posted was pictures of peaches
and pictures of butts and pictures of squares
I tried not to love peaches, because she had already claimed them; I tried to think of her every time I saw a peach
I even made her a card with a peach on it, and bought her a fluffy peach-coloured notebook with a peach sewn onto the corner
but in truth, I only thought of her when I saw a picture of a peach
when I saw a real peach I thought of poetry
and how every time I read the word ‘peach’ in a poem I wanted to scream out ‘not again!’ but instead, I just kept reading
because I loved peaches in the same way everyone loves peaches
the sunset colour and the baby-down fluff and the stone,
somehow still a surprise, at the centre
I loved a plastic bag of peaches bumping against my sunny legs
I loved you, for the way you said that outside, the air smelled like peaches
it took me a long time to finish my smoothie, and when I ran out the door,
the air didn’t smell like anything

Joy Holley is currently studying English, Philosophy and Creative Writing at Victoria University. Her poems have also appeared in The Spinoff.