From the other end of the produce section, in my very very very high heels, feeling extraordinarily tall and charming and well-equipped, the oranges had never been oranger. I shoved all of my fingers deep into them, rummaged for the best one.
At home, I put the orange on the sunny kitchen sill so I would remember to want it—so I would see it and want it more and more—until I wanted it entirely, when I would cram it whole into my sweating mouth.
It stayed there, ripening in the sill while I yanked the blinds and opened the window, while I opened each window wider and wider—as wide as possible—upending the stagnant air. I shoved open the next and the next, feeding the orange more light. An idea came, and another, and another in quick succession. For days I wrote quickly, channeling my sentences. I wrote like I was fucking, or erupting from a centuries-old grave, the orange’s brightness growing more and more unbearable until I needed all of it inside me.
I kept it at arm’s length as I spoke frantically into the phone. I described to you how the blinds had hung so heavy in the window for weeks—so heavy that I couldn’t write a sentence—how nothing had breathed until the orange arrived, how upon the orange’s arrival I could suddenly open everything so wide.
Okay, you said. Okay. Sure. Uh-huh.
I could picture the phone cradled against your shoulder while you did something unimportant, but which you considered very important.
I took the orange from the sill. I held it as I kept talking, waiting for you to say anything. I kept talking and talking, even as I grew tired of hearing my voice, even as I slid out of the heels I’d been wearing all week and laid myself down, all the way down, on the long, long couch, breathing the smell of grass through the open windows, even as the orange began to shrink from itself, turning inward like a tumor, growing pitted and mucus-colored like a sponge lost at the bottom of the sea, I kept holding it, talking until all of my sentences ran out, for you or anyone, until I wanted nothing, until all that was left was the image of my body centered in the greenest, tenderest field.
It is best when there is zero comprehension within a process because that is when a process feels erotic.
For example, the other day as I banged and banged and banged you without reflection, there was suddenly like a little pony in me—neighing and prancing erratically, vibrating madly with a totally-prancy-all-the-time-feeling.
Right now, though, me trying to get there and you trying to get me there is the least poetic activity I can imagine. Outside the window everything else is more alive: the pink-stained cloud like a fake mink stole, then a wispy little helium-full twat, then a jungle of exotic flowers in tacky Midwestern baskets, then a powder blue casket where the cavernous face is not my father’s face…
I did not understand why I would touch the wilted fingers my sister was lightly petting, each of which my mother had just tugged. As the lid closed, as the casket descended into its pit, as I kept imagining you inside me on satiny powder blue sheets, I felt my body being lifted out of me.
I go on trying, sort of, but crushed under you I can hardly breathe. All I can hear is us panting like dogs.
I can’t finish, I think. I cannot even imagine it. Everything that can be known about this story is known.
But then, without trying, I do.