Some people have penchants
for winning radio contests, others for numbers
of the choice prizes at the bars—the artists or doctors
instead of the waiters or students—but me,
I get the grocery clerks and confused check stand men
at the corner store who give me fruits for free,
tucking them fast as a secret
wrinkled and splitting into paper bags,
it has nothing to do with luck.
I’ve always loved the over ripened fruits.
Not the ones which are just slightly sweeter,
but the bananas with no yellow left to give way to brown,
the plums with skins as finely crinkled
as a grandmother’s décolletage, and kiwis
so fragile and soft that even the lightest touch
leaves permanent sloping impressions.
And it’s not because I’m cheap,
at least not this time,
it’s because I remember the taste of the treasures foraged
from my parent’s backyard, the ones beyond the horse pasture
and growing from the neighbor’s side,
the ones nobody would eat, baking warm in the Oregon sun.
How can something be too sweet?
Like all those people who told us our love was too much,
it must be delayed infatuation, the kind reserved
for teenagers and drunks, like that time you told me
my words were too big to bear their weight,
they’d surely implode one day,
or the time I missed my cycle
and neither of us cried,
not when I called to tell you from California
or when It crept in shamefully two weeks late
like a dog with his tail slipped between legs
and we never talked much about it, just sat
side by side shell shocked
and amazed at the almost.