– scent story by David –
We met in an orchard, innocent August. The air was split wide open with the smell of bitten apples. You were riding out of afternoons, wars of attrition into winter, successions of teeth. You wanted possession. Eyes wild for speckled sun streaked skin, you wanted that last hot burn of ripeness. All the wrong animals had answered your want ads and in a rage you left town leaving a litany of acrimony the color of raw grey metal behind. Finite NOs.
Breaking the gate was just so easy after that. Aftermath, open vowels, back tire dug deep into the muddy roadside. You just cut the engine. Looking right. Left. Right again. And the river was out of question. Somehow breaking a lock, climbing a fence, was easier than swimming.
In the orchard the ground was firm. Grassy with yellow curled leaves that didn’t crunch but flattened out of their concave underneath your feet. They were still warm, so fall of empires, embers—warm, so you took your shoes off. Apples wheeled away from your feet everywhere in wild spirals. Golden mean. Red storm of winter just about to begin. Sweetness struck you aggressively, a discrete snap, and reaching down to pick the first one up, you saw me.
I was lying naked, face down on a deep blue blanket, my back exposed to the sun. Sleeping. The stage screen of sheltering sky contracted suddenly. Machineworks were moving behind, switching gears where you couldn’t see. You moved to leave, run perhaps, but my back was speckled, weathered just a little like the skin of the apples.
What would the cold explosion of juice from the first fruit in your hand taste like just then? What would the long wound cords of muscle just beneath my warmed skin feel like between your teeth?
The heft of the apple in your hand was so satisfying, so heavy. You smiled. Such a potent lie. Like gravity. Consequence.
You breathed in.