By: Holly Zijderveld

content warning : heavy sexual references

I’m not sure when it started. I can’t pin it exactly. The burning is in my chest again – the smoke is filling up my lungs again and I feel more trapped than free. Love is meant to be free. 

I can feel you digging your thumbs into me like I’m a clementine. Two at once, you’re pushing and plunging them into the top, there are juices flowing everywhere, you want to know everything about me. You’re prising me open, flesh against flesh; I just want to feel something again. I am open now, you’re working on removing my segments. There is blood everywhere. You’re skinning me, carefully removing my rind as you set me down on the counter, naked and exposed. 

You pick up the first segment. 

I didn’t expect you to look at me so closely before you take me to your mouth, but yet, here you are. You are just staring; you’re examining me. Tracing your fingers over the ties to the skin that still remain. You’re probing me and prodding me. What are you doing? 

You’re setting my segment back on the table. You do it with such care – you’ve tried so hard not to spill more blood, it’d be a shame to do so now. You’re then taking the next one, and the next and the next. Repeating the same motions over and over; you never get bored of me, baby. The same old lines must look different to you each time. 

Once you have finished viewing me, you set the last segment on the table. They’re all standing in a row, they’re on their knees, they’re pleading with you to know what happens next. You scoop up the peelings in your warm, forgiving hands and drop them on the floor. It’s a long way down, and the floor looks cold and alone. I would gasp if I were human.

Now, you’re walking away. 

The segments of my clementine are all waiting for you.  

Holly Zijderveld (she/her) is currently based in the UK. When she’s not writing or running her own lit journal, you can find her watching too many films, playing Bach, and thinking about the way the light hit that one very specific bit of water. You can find her @hollyzijderveld on Instagram and Twitter.

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