4.06 / June 2009

Sweet, Juicy Pepper

listen to this story

She slices into a pepper, dull knife popping through thick, red skin.

One baby tugs her nightgown, smearing applesauce. Another crashes a talking racecar into her shoe. Remove batteries. Remove applesauce. Remove tethers.

The skin separates, sprays pepper-mist over her hands and chin. She inserts a finger into the crevice, pulls.

A chubby hand reaches up. The boy opens and closes his mouth, a tireless baby bird: mama mama mama mine. She hands him a cracker, won’t share her sweet, juicy pepper. He grabs, grins, crunches cracker, crashes car.

Her finger, its nail bitten down from boredom, pokes into the fruit, senses warmth, flies to her tongue. The taste is memory: bass, treble, dancing, jumping, men, laughing, kissing, fucking, laughing.

She splits the pepper open. White cascades out in rivers. A pool forms. Pool of sugary cream.

She dabs, licks, swallows, turns on. On once again. Alive. She lifts both babies, her boys, beautiful boys, one per arm, and they dance in the kitchen, laughing. Heads thrown back and laughing.