Katy Sperry

eating grapefruits in grade school

On the way to school I think of grapefruit flesh.
Consider the way the rind holds in the flesh

as it lulls around metal tin of lunchbox thumping
walls; leaving bruises and burst carpels of flesh.

On the way to lunch I feel warm moisture against
pantie; in bathroom I see red of spilling flesh

Press my fingers against cunt lips to find source
of deep color. Feel liquid between folds of my flesh.

Fold tissue neatly into the stains of cloth to soak blood
I watch the red wash down sink from nails and flesh.

In lunchroom peel grapefruit and slide thumbs into
central column to halve. Stare at insides, pink flesh. 

Divide familiar shape into curves, some bleed sticky juice;
Remnants of red under nails press against pulpy flesh.

Gently finger cool bruised carpels; I bring
the segment to my lips, bite and taste pure flesh.

abecedarian for grapefruit

Against my fingers the rind gently meets
before I curve my thumb and begin to press,
cut through exocarp into mesocarp.
Divorce the fruit from leathery rind.
Examine remains of mesocarp clinging to carpels;
fold discarded rind and inhale sweet smell,
glimmering mist of oils released to air in small
hazy wisps, purse lips and breathe a small breath
into warm summer. Stick tongue out
just to try and taste the bitter oil but mist
keeps disappearing too soon to
linger on my lips and tastebuds.
My fingers can feel the oil on the exocarp.
Next slide finger along bottom lip and press thumb
on top of tongue, taste slick bitterness.
Place peel on tiled countertop and
quietly hold broken segments in cupped hands
reexamine the veins of the fruit.
See small seeds behind
translucent skin holding flesh; 
use nail, press segment to break
vein and watch carpels bleed pink against lucid
wall. Finger deeper into membrane’s tear;  
‘xcavate seed. Eat the fruit and leave
yellowed mesocarp clinging to rind and
zest on sticky countertop.

eating grapefruits, age 22

Think of the rind encased flesh, bruised, pressure
on exocarp. The way that it bleeds. The fruit mimics
my cunt, when I dig my nails into the flesh, peel away
at tender, darkened exocarp into exploded carpels. 
Press nails against lucid wall, break skin and stare, 
watch fluids release through incision.

Think of menstruation, press two fingers against
the lips of my cunt, beneath panties, feel warmth
of skin, body, fluid. Remove fingers and see, thick
blood, insides pour out. Release of egg, cleansing
uterus, cervix.

Watch grapefruit bleed, fluids erupt onto soft
skin, beneath fingernails. Carry grapefruit
to faucet, wash hands. Run cool water over
bleeding flesh. Press tongue into torn shape.

Katy Sperry is an MFA student at Northern Arizona University, where she studies hybrid and flash writing. She is the current nonfiction and hybrids editor of Thin Air Magazine. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in Essay Daily and PIVOT Literature. Sometimes she writes about citrus.