No, because I’m allergic to them. Also related stone fruits—plums, cherries, nectarines.
I used to get mouth irritations, inflammation of the mucous membranes in my mouth. Doctors would prescribe antibiotics and ask about my sex life.
Then I figured something out. It happened only in the summer. To soothe my irritated mouth, I would eat cool, fresh fruit. Which made the condition worse.
I asked an allergist if I could be allergic to those fruits. He said yes, and in fact I could die if the tissues around my throat swelled sufficiently.
So I stay away from those nasty, delicious comestibles.
Even on skin, so I avoid the whole family and their relatives, including almond oil, which a yoga teacher once tried to soothe me with.
I once wrote more about this, in a piece called:
THE RASH ON MY BEHIND
On the dermatologist’s table was I,
while she hunted for ravages of my being
a fair-skinned Caucasian. The dermatologist said,
“What’s this?” and pulled down the back
of my underwear. “Look at this,” she said
to her assistant. “We’ll prescribe something.”
To me she said, “You’ve got to be
more regular with your hygiene.”
Years later I asked an allergist
if the soreness in my mouth after eating
peaches, plums, and apricots could be
an allergy. Yes, he said, allergies
to that family of fruits are common and could be
dangerous. Then I realized the rash
I sometimes got on my scalp was from
the health-food store’s apricot shampoo.
And my habit in the shower is to use
the extra suds to lather up—well,
parts of my body. So that’s where that rash
must’ve come from! I’ve been accused
of writing poems about almost anything.
First of all, I couldn’t write
the dermatologist to say, “See?
It wasn’t my hygiene after all.”
As I write this instead, what do I suppose
the larger literary value, apart
from the personal utility? It’s not that I think
my behind is so interesting—well, in fact
I do, but how about the theme of appearance
vs. reality or the shame of false
accusation? Literature reveals the secrets
hidden beneath our clothing.