Lemons- Carla Scarano D’Antonio

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.

About the contributor

Carla Scarano D’Antonio moved to England (Lancashire then Surrey) in 2007 from Rome (Italy) and started attending creative writing courses. She obtained a Degree of Master of Arts in Creative Writing with Merit at Lancaster University in October 2012. Her work was published in Shipwrights (an online Swedish Review), Purple Patch, First Edition magazine, Northern Life, audio Flax Anthologies: Vanishing Act (Flax 020), Flash Mob (Flax 026), Cake, the Beautiful Dragons Anthologies Heavenly Bodies and My Dear Watson, London Grip, Lighthouse, South and Poetry News. She self-published a poetry pamphlet, A Winding Road, in 2011 and won the First Prize of the John Dryden Translation Competition 2016. The prize was awarded for translation of some poems by Eugenio Montale that Keith Lander and Carla co-translated. She publishes recipes, travel journals and opinions on her blog: carlascarano.blogspot.co.uk/ She is currently working on a PhD on Margaret Atwood’s work at the University of Reading. Website: http://www.carlascaranod.co.uk/

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