[the poetry billboard] - 'Dry Persimmons' by Darren Zhiming Tan
Dry Persimmons

Darren Zhiming Tan

they looked so sweet, sitting on a bed of patterned styrofoam, the three of them dusted with white powdered sugar, stretched over with cling wrap, brown.

     wrinkled with sweetness, we bought them. we were going to share them over dinner; i was going away. her right forefinger pierced the tight transparent plastic and held one of the flattened pieces of fruit carefully between her front teeth. she chewed and passed her piece across the table to let me taste it. i ate one later while she was in the restroom, hardly tasting it. it was time to go. i slipped the last fruit with the styrofoam tray into my right coat pocket.

     she passed me a twenty at the curbside. to buy fruits, to treat yourself. the metal detector went off as i walked through. i had to pretend to be an airplane. the handheld detector beeped at the ring on my hand.

     i call her from a payphone. i bite the fruit and notice that the flesh is dark orange. the sticker says 'dry persimmons' and i toss the empty container away.