Pomegranate: A Story in Solstice
"Pomegranate" is an excerpt from Life Without, an unpublished manuscript in the form of interdependent stories about the lives of eleven characters who are incarcerated in two neighboring American prisons.
Choosing, it’s like a pomegranate fruit. Maxine talked one up once and when she did, I could almost taste it, almost hold it in my hands, like this.
Daddy used to bring one home and set it down on the kitchen table. “Where’d you get that?” I’d ask him, and he’d chuckle in his belly, like he’d done magic, and then admit he got it at the farmer’s market downtown. “This fruit is like some kind of strange and wonderful news that’s waiting,” he’d say, “for us, buried just inside,” andI would study its dull skin, scratched and ordinary…ugly, even…turning it to find the flatter places, feeling its weight. I would close my eyes and picture the mystery under the skin, layer on crooked layer of red crystals. And chambers, like you find inside a heart.
We would wait to open it. Daddy said sometimes waiting made things better.
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