In the spring they ripen and swarm the trees,
the waxy little fruits that resemble bald heads.

I collect their remains: piebald, sweet
and sour. A syrup made of loquats

is said to cure cough. Their woolly twigs
splinter in pear blight. I am bereft

when I eat them all. My throat and heart
always sore. Whenever I got sick my mother

used to skin yellow loquats, but they tasted
better with the skin on. This season, my cough

grows and grows. There is a tree or a fungus
in my chest. I once kissed a man in the hollow.