I judged them very carefully, as though
I’d been given the charge to determine
which are good or bad, and they were all good,
even the slightly overripe ones with bruises,
had a better ferment that only brightened
the scent. And the too young ones, firm
and slightly sour, not yet softened by the sun.
And the ripe ones, which felt like hiring into
my own flesh, slightly carnivorous.
They had been elegant in the tree, tiny coquettes
blushing more and more until I picked them,
then they were minimalist and matte-colored
in wooden bowls, so barely furred one couldn’t
help but clothe them, enclose them with your hand,
caress each one thoroughly before taking a bite,
exploring the handsome freckles left
from some minor blight.
Now I stand under the tree and
pluck them one after the other.
Each one tastes different, like a mind having
erratic thoughts. Going into the trance
halfway between eating and thinking,
the thought of an apricot, the apricot of a thought,
whose goodness occurs over time, so that
some had been better earlier, others soon
would become correct, I mean ripe.
*Published in the January 13th, 2014 issue of The New Yorker