My brother and I talk about plants and food.
Shrubs sometimes, and herbs.

His cherimoya trees have grown large and velvet-leafed
in the shady garden outside his basement apartment near Shattuck.
We squat by a stand of young ginger, and pull oxalis.

"Shopping mall plants," I say when we're out for a walk.

"Agapanthus." He corrects me, but kindly.

At the Asian market we joke about durians, point at the spiky fruit and laugh like conspirators. He has sent me durian essence in the mail. It is in a small bottle like perfume. I can't bear to open it; it will smell like mercaptan.

He knows the location of every doughnut shop in Berkeley.
Dream Fluff. Kingpin too. We talk about Kingpin Doughnuts.

He will be married next June to a woman he long denied was his girlfriend.


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