Tiny tangerine foetuses curl as if for protection next to the glass bowl. Their delicate flesh oozes juice onto the chopping board. I place my finger on the smallest and think of the first time.
I didn’t tell early on because I thought this somehow protected me.
I arrange the tangerine slices in a swirl, nestled in half-set strawberry jelly. Thick red gloop pulls the tiniest segment down from the surface so I can barely see it. My whole hand strokes a peach’s downy covering. It fits snugly into my palm.
I saw the last baby in grainy black and white, like a photograph from before my time.
The peach separates into two halves easily with a blunt knife. I pull out the stone and press its ribbed surface between my thumb and forefinger.
We had grasped one another’s hands at the sight of a heartbeat. My ears drummed for days with the echo of it. When the bleeding started I cried from my bowels upwards. He gave me grapes and took a job out of town.
I slice the peach halves and let them sink into the red jelly bed with their siblings. Then I rinse the knife clean ready for next time.
The fruit is suspended now in time and jelly. Fingers of sponge swell as they absorb the thick liquid. I scoop up the remaining fruit on the way to my bedroom.
Under soft covers I turn to lie on my side. My hands curve around the melon placed under my shirt.