Lemons- Carla Scarano D’Antonio

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On Thursday I went to the supermarket and did my usual round: salad, fruit, vegetables. While I was selecting the oranges a net bag of lemons rolled near me. It opened. A lemon came out of it, yellow, bright, its oval shape with two nipples looking like two firm breasts stuck together at the base. I picked it up, put it back in the net, and the net in the trolley.

I went on with my round: potatoes, chicken legs, chicken breast, Cumberland sausages, haddock, bread rolls, salami, sliced bread, sugar, tomato passata, fusilli, linguine, orange juice, toilet rolls, ice-cream, tablets of water softener.

A short queue at the till and home to unpack.

When I came to the lemons I set them on a white chopping board and cut them in the middle to part the two breasts. I put them in a row on the board: eight rounded teats, their nipples set up, alert, ready to feel any shifting of mood.

I handled a half with both hands and squeezed it, squeezed it within my palms. The liquid trickled into a glass bowl. Then another one, harder this time. The flesh had to be crushed properly, giving up all its juice. Another one: the pale yellow liquid was filling the bowl. My hands ached but I was doing a good job. I stopped when I exhausted them.

Now the half lemons were empty rinds heaped on a corner of the board: flabby, hollow bags good for nothing.

I poured the lemon juice in a jug of water, added two spoons of sugar and stirred. I threw the dry nipples in the bin.

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