Cherries.

When I was young. The clouds of not-quite-fall glowing orange from summer fire. The air shimmering heat. A wooden farm stand peeling whitewash. The semi-shaven Mexican in a straw hat. Green plastic baskets. Calloused hands. Sweet treasure, color of dried blood.

Driving onto the dirt to reach them our wheels boil yellow clouds. Dad never takes the car off road but I do.

To the stand for her. Because she pointed.

And then to the park where the road dead ends. Cicadas send shrill clouds of sound across the grass to the lace oak shade. A fly whirrs like a bullet from a gun a hundred years since, still looking for the tin can blown to the grass.

Her teeth stained red. I press the seeds between my thumb and forefinger, squeeze till they squirt out on the grease of saliva and tooth-torn cherry flesh. A button torn from suspenders. I look down at her looking up and pull yellow straw from her yellow hair.


A poem is a kiss from a lover you will never know.

Her lips are cool. Her tongue, warm as a blanket pushed fresh off her legs.

I say I remember her from long ago because I smell the black powder and hear the horses laboring in front of the plow. We were young then, too.

"How come I feel this way?" she asks.

I don't know. "I do, too," and bite upon the fruit she holds between her teeth, and then trade the stone until there's nothing left sweet,

but our remembering it.

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