Samantha Conlon

the serpent is subtle

 

 

peach, pineapple, kiwi

 

 

 

when you leave i don’t watch you go, when you leave i walk across a bridge in a cold european city, when you leave i look at my kitchen and the food left behind, i make a mental list, five kiwis, a tine of herring, a little block of goats cheese, rice cakes, half a packet of feta cheese, a jar of coffee, i eat two of your kiwis and think of all the fruits you have made me try for the first time; peaches, pineapple, kiwi

 

peaches; we were 18 and 19, we were in my hometown, it was july, i was skinnier, i was wearing blue jeans cut up to my knees and a red tank top that was altered to show off the tattoo on my stomach, old black converse, my then short hair was in a ponytail, we bought a miniature bottle of champagne and drank it by the tower in my town on a thick patch of grass, we only knew each other for eight months, i was a virgin. you had long curly hair, a softer jaw, you were muscular in a way i had never seen or been close to before, all the boys before you were chubby or skinny, i never knew this kind of body, i was proud of you in a very instinctive way. we went to another supermarket where you bought a tray of peaches, we walked to a nearby park which was full of hostile young boys, we lay near a tree, you offered me the fruit, i said ‘i never tasted peaches before’, you put it in my hand, the grass was warm under my back, i bit into it, i liked it, you spread your arm from where you were lying in the shade under a tree, it passed through the shadow and into the sunlight where i was lying, you touched your fingertips off mine

 

pineapple; we were 19 and 20 and we stood in the kitchen where we lived together, i can’t remember what i was wearing, or how either of us looked then, i just remember it was dark and that depressing yellow light in that depressing yellow kitchen was on, i was unhappy in a way i never had been before, my whole body was tense day and night from the pressure of it, i had no job, no school, i lived with you rent free. you cut the pineapple’s skin off and cut the entire thing into equal pieces which you deposited into a lunchbox, i always admired the way you handled food, you always had sharp knives, you rarely made a mess. you passed me a piece, the juice ran down my fingers and yours, the sweetness made my jaw clench, we were silent, a few feet away the simpsons played on the tv, i had nothing to do, nowhere to go, you weren’t as happy as you used to be i think, we lived that way for a year, i tried lots of different anti depressants, i would faint nearly every time we drank, we drank a lot, pineapple is my favourite fruit

 

kiwi; we were 22 and 23 and we were standing in the kitchen of an apartment on the sixth floor of a block in a midland city in a northern european country, outside it was overcast and probably snowing lightly, you had just bought kiwis from the supermarket beside my apartment, i was going about making us tea when you asked ‘do you want a kiwi?’, i said ‘yes, i’ve never had one’, you bit into one and i asked ‘why are you eating the skin?’ i’ve never seen anyone do that’, you said ‘some people just don’t like it’, you peeled the skin from a kiwi for me and sliced a bit off in that careful way you do things, you put it toward my mouth, it was sweeter that i expected and it made everything slow. i poured us irish tea and watched you eat the rest of the kiwi, we walked about the kitchen doing things and when you were near me i liked to touch your side or your arm, i liked to look at you and felt excited in mostly a non sexual way, a type of awe and pride, felt excited that five years later our bodies seem to keep getting better, that i could look at you and still feel appreciation, satisfaction. i didn’t watch you leave when you did, the evening of the day you left i ate two of your kiwis, half of the goats cheese and two of your rice cakes. everytime i saw the tin of fish it made me sad, i couldn’t throw it away. in the following three days after your departure i left the apartment for a total of ~1.5 hours, i felt devoted to the silence, i looked through 300 photos of us, i fell asleep

 

 

 

Samantha Conlon is studying for a BA in Fine Art from CCAD, Cork. She runs Bunny Collective, an all female art collective based in the UK and Ireland.

www.samanthaconlonart.tumblr.com

www.bunnycollective.tumblr.com

 

‘peach, pineapple, kiwi’ was previously published in Shabby Doll House.

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