The Sweetest Fruit by Diana Devlin

[2nd Prize]

They had always put a satsuma in each other’s Christmas stocking.  Kate’s husband had been adamant that such traditions were what kept their marriage alive. But this year, Eric was insistent: they had to eat their satsumas together too. So, as if in preparation for some holy ceremony, they sat facing each other, fruit held like orbs in their mottled hands, mouths moist with the anticipation of the tang.

Eric nodded at Kate to go first. As her teeth gently separated the segments, his smile grew and he closed his eyes. She watched him sitting, head tilted, listening intently as she peeled each segment from its neighbour with a soft thripp! She knew he was imagining each juicy explosion in her mouth, the sweet liquid gushing down her throat.

Forty five years. Ninety satsumas. Some eight hundred plus citrus explosions. The sticky debris and the lingering tang in the air made his eyes tingle. This year would be the last. One little venom-laden jab. No more fucking satsumas.

***

Diana Devlin is a Scottish-Italian poet who has worked as a translator, lexicographer and teacher but now writes full time. Her poetry has been widely published online, in anthologies and in print. She runs a writing group in Dumbarton and is working on her first collection. Her home near Loch Lomond is full of music, laughter, books and cat hair, just how she likes it.

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