They sag in just the way I remember, clotting against each other in nests of purple and gold, skins thinning and flesh softening in cracks of sidewalk concrete. As a child I used to eat them off a tree at the edge of a cotton field, loving them more than wild plums but not as much as blackberries. Their feral sweetness in my throat tickled with its hint of something gone to ruin, something almost too wild to be with. Only once I picked them before they’d ripened, the blister of their greenness sending me home for water in a hurry, my mouth full of trickery and insolence. Some years later I made some jam with them. It sat on my shelf in jars until someone insisted I spread it on toast, and I did. My teeth missed the skins and the nudge of the pit. Wasps still crawl inside their golden hearts, I notice now, intoxicated with loamy fruitflesh and the heady disappearing nourishment of summer.
©Laura Sorrells 2007--2012
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