The stone fruit tree in my garden made its confession: “I am barren.” I did as my mother had instructed. I took its branches in my hands and pressed the warmth of my cheek against the bark. “Are you certain?” In the gusting winds the tree looked to be nodding, a buoy in the waters. I thought of all the fruit that will never know the insides of my mouth. I spelled p-e-a-c-h-c-o-t in my head and swallowed. “My leaves are falling off,” the tree said. And: “When will you send for the man with the ax to chop me by the ankles?” I consoled the tree with hushed sounds and There, There’s. This technique was of my own design. “No one is coming,” I said. “You are still my beautiful tree.” The winds picked up and we swayed together for a long time. Back and forth, back and forth.