Barbara Crooker

They swing
on the tree like
golden bells; around
them, air ripens the
color of bronze. Cool
smooth skin,
impervious to touch.
Softening from the
inside out, the opposite of the
stone fruits, peaches, apricots, plums.
Their bottoms swell, hips swaying like
maracas in the autumn breeze, the smoke's
blue haze. Slip a thin knife into the skin;
cut small wedges. This is the only way you
can eat the sun. Unpicked, they'll crash
to the ground, oozing and liquid, whirl
wasps into drunkenness, melt like
early snow on the lawn.