she held an orange / probed her thumb / with enough force / to wrench skin / from flesh / nail threading / through pith / like a body / shedding skin / like the quilts / a handmade shroud / of skin / peel muscle / from membrane / a puncture / makes a pulp storm / a hemorrhage / skin is an organ / a bed is a shrine / watch the juice / baptize her arm / with spray / dotting the quilt / as peels curl / like a shredded womb / into a smile / a licked lip / a collection / her fistfuls / of orange confetti / rolled away / in a napkin / tucked away / between the nightstand / and bed / and lost / among the waves / of dust ruffle / and dreams / and hearts / that stick / in a current / that stills / the body / and the soul / into night / / days pass / / days pass / / as a river / settles to pond / and spores / impregnate juices / and the sun / shifts her weight / from side / to side / so patient / waiting / as the gangrenous / decay / blooms / and the men / break down doors / I’m told / she lay curled / like a baby / I’m told / her hands were sticky / and white / I’m told / her glasses / perched on her nose / I’m told / she clenched / the quilt / made by her hand / now stained / such a shame / flannel nightgown / rose print / pilled / so faded / but the horror / of the peels! / the peels! / they discovered / that old rot / and they laughed / and joked / that she made / penicillin / without a lab / or a white coat / and look! / just a lady / an old lady / someone’s granny / who knew nothing / of sciences / or healing / could have been famous! / she could have been rich! / they laughed / as she was / not / and not / knowing what she was / or who / she had been / they called her / a funny / old lady / who passed on / / passed on / / leaving behind / a stained quilt / and an orange / that became a joke / about a man / and a lab / and an accident / so very fortuitous / for him / for him
Christina Kapp teaches at the Writers Circle Workshops in New Jersey and her work has appeared in Passages North, Hobart, Forge Literary Magazine, The MacGuffin, PANK, Pithead Chapel and elsewhere. Her fiction has been nominated for Best of the Net awards and a Pushcart Prize. She welcomes you to follow her on Twitter @ChristinaKapp and visit her website: www.christinakapp.com.