I take the knife in my hand, with thumb and forefinger pressed to cold metal, and taking my time as I contemplate the chilled fruit; so perfect, so round, so vulnerable. Looking down, I see that Katie’s lips are pursed, and I can see that she is getting annoyed. Then again, children are never patient. I slip the slight edge of the knife beneath the skin; ripe, soft, and succulent. Crisp and moist. Full and fleshy. When she smiles, I smile back.
Her eyes are round, ripe, and full of yearning. She holds her small hands palm-up beneath my hands. Beneath the knife. I shave thin, cold slivers of the fleshy insides once the skin is peeled off; spiralling from the top to bottom, and leaving a pile of shaved curls. She won’t eat these, and so her round eyes wait.
I picture the knife carving other insides; other forms of ripe flesh. Piercing soft skin, and spilling warm blood. Now, my lips match Katie’s, but they are pursed for the wrong reasons. I’m no longer hungry, and yet I continue sliding the knife up and down- up and down- until all I have left are the seeds.
And the core.
But as she holds the cold slivers of fruit between her fingertips I watch her small mouth welcome the slices of warmed fruit, and I can taste my hunger once again. Warming honey, finding brown sugar, I sit with her and savour the snack.