The word alone is reason enough
for stealing, low and round, a fullness,
a hum, an undropped
droplet, a four-letter song:
But these—the plums on the tree
outside the community center—
these are also tiny,
ripe with the magic
of all things undersized
and whole: a baby's hand (nails
and everything!), a new frog,
tail just gone.
Then imagine a treeful, an abundance, a plurality
Tiny and also plums!
Tiny plums, gold and red.
My friend Kirsten waits for nightfall,
steals, barefoot, to the plum tree,
to steal. The air smells like flowers.
Fireflies simmer in the grass,
and the moon, the moon is hooked
in the limbs of the plum tree.
Outside this moment, outside the shadow
of the plum tree, here, there,
all over the world, the virus rages.
We have not touched our friends in months.
Plums, three per palm.
Her fingers close around them.
She will take them home.
Night after night, she will fit the tiny plums
inside her hands
and take them home.