On the counter waits thirty pounds
of apricots, and even after hours
of halving the soft flesh, removing the pits
and arranging them to dry, each apricot feels
like a present, sweet commonplace perfection.
I pass their humble weight from hand to hand
and marvel at their apricotness—recalling
how yesterday they were clustered and strung
on the limbs so thick that the branches hung low to touch
the orchard floor. Oh gravity, what is it you love
about sweetness. Even the lovers who churn
in the grass are drawn into your promise.
But not tonight. Tonight, there are apricots
ripe and gold and glistening in the center.
Tonight there is this art of making
sweetness last just a little bit longer,