Stupid Fruit

As I awoke from uneasy dreams to the never-ending mango
In the garden, right outside the line of sight of my window, staring at me
I felt the shiver of a thousand loves I forced myself to believe were over
Tunnel under,
Scrape within me
And I walked into the garden, naked,
My arms outstretched, my face was sainted
And retrieved the fruit that which upon my squeeze let out a bellow
I held it over
My head, the golden ichor dripping down my fingers
Glissade my marble skin and wrap on me
Like snakes
I brought it in, sticky with juice, and rummaged for a blade
Sharp enough to penetrate the skin
The skin I wanted so badly to reach beyond
That hovers near,
I started scraping
And kept scraping until the skin revealed more skin
And kept scraping to reveal more skin
And kept scraping
And I scraped
And my parents, who had once watched me scrape in wonder, grew in fury
And my sister, who had once tried to help me, abandoned me
And, when the sun had spent all its days watching me and was replaced by night,
The moon grew tired eyes as I continued scraping
I hadn’t eaten anything, I wanted so badly and only the juice
All the ones that watched me before
Could not be forced to stay after
And my best friend from the province returned, but I paid him no attention
And politicians stapled campaign posters on my naked body,
I did not vote
And my classmates became dorm mates then worked in the same office
And the strangers in my dreams fell in love, fell sick, fell beneath the ground
And the magpies circled over and over until they got cold and pined away,
I scraped until I could feel the wrinkles on my face
I scraped until those who I was against
Were curious of what I was scraping for
Until my family grew tired of worrying, shoved and kicked me, begged me to leave
Until my family grew tired of worrying, packed their bags, I watched them leave
Until my best friend grew tired and skinny, trying to be with me while I scraped
Until my best friend hung himself in shame, he hung himself in shame
God sent an angel to me and even he I did not mind
The hungry dogs ate from my legs, the pesky flies stole my blood
Because the dreams were uneasy even before I started scraping
Because I had been touched before both in the rightest and wrongest places
I devoted my life to find the juice that would uplift me
I scraped to find what fruit the skin is under
And when it seemed like it would all be over
The skin tired of its fight
When it was thin enough to pierce through with my fingers and I could smell the juice
When I let the blade that had worn out in age give one last, dying try
All it left on my hand was a seed

stupid, stupid fruit


Aidan Reuel A. Bernales

Aidan Bernales is an 18-year-old Filipino writer from Cebu City. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Ateneo de Cebu’s Molave and is a part of the school’s theatre, debate club, and student council. He has songs on Spotify and a poetry account on Instagram.

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