It is a dark and captivating fruit. Sour when it should be sweet. Oddly fleshy inside. Sensuous. Like an object conjured in a dream I would be reluctant to discuss. Like those sins that still feel so good, ripening at the edges of the mind. I travel to a province where they grow. It takes two days. I arrive at night and check into a neon motel. I wake before dawn and walk out to the orchards where the migrants have already begun to pick. I watch them on their tripod ladders. Their children playing below, speaking a language I do not understand. One of the workers gestures toward me. Another pivots around. I nod and wave like a comrade. From high in the tree someone tosses me a plum.
~ David Shumate