The Safety of Citrus by Faye Brinsmead

I’m self-isolating inside an orange. The shadows of previous tenants kept sneezing in my flat. Every time I watered the potted tree on the balcony, its bright safe spheres whispered a plan. I picked the ripest one, tunneled in.

After the sweet wet shock, I’ve adjusted nicely. I like the feel of pips in my hair. As I swim between luminous sacs of juice, memories refract. I can believe I lived a zestier life outside, before. People were kind. My lips woke up smiling.

In such a tiny space, tidiness is vital. I divide my days into segments. Dreaming; fearing; exploring disconnectedness; imagining the lives of fruit; revering Neruda (and other vegetal poets); counting (deaths); savoring the tang of being alive.

Faye Brinsmead’s flash fiction appears in X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine, MoonPark Review, Spelk, Reflex Fiction, Ellipsis Zine, FlashFlood 2020, (mac)ro(mic), and others. Among my molecules, her poetry e-chapbook, is published by proletaria. She lives in Australia and tweets @ContesdeFaye.

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