Lemons : For A. K. by D.M. Jerman

My sister, Vivi, was killed last year by a truck carrying lemons.

I thought it was intensely beautiful, the state I discovered her in. I broke through the crowd to find her, looking almost as if she was sleeping, peacefully, with compound fractures in her contorted legs.

Her black hair shining wet tangled amongst the features of her face and the thousands upon thousands of lemons made a bright puffy blanket over her and the street. Their thin yellow citrus juices and her thick dark red blood concocted a visceral seeping orange with the street dirt. All these fluids tarnished her yellow dress. Melting her.


Vivi was attempting to cross the street behind the truck, and the driver wasn't looking when he slammed it into reverse to park. The rusty rear door hinge sprung open with a jolt and a thunderous cascading landslide of the vivid sour fruit broke free of their crates to buffet her fragile skull into pieces.

I was 13. Vi was 17.

I adored her. After all this, I became obsessed with the things that destroyed her. Lemons.


I read up on their vast uses. Their supposed killing power in folkloric mythologies.

I began to eat them raw. It seemed as if their tartness came from a kind of poison. Was their purpose really to kill? Each time I tried, bordering suicide, to drink my weight in juice, I could feel the adrenaline from the death wish dashing through my veins.

Lemon milkshakes, lemon slices on my cereal, across my stinging eyes, as rancid perfume, dried rinds stuffed with cloves for ornamentation- they were everywhere.

Soon I could tell I was stung. Scarred, by the very anticipation of the tartness hitting my mouth. Is this how vampires feel when they get another taste of blood?

I felt as if I was committing the ultimate sin by loving the thing that killed my sister.


Now, here it is, one year ago to the day. Not so long ago at all.

And I'm standing in the same spot- across the street from where she took the fall under that dambreak of the many many many many tough and tiny unyielding fruits.


Except now, I'm not waiting for her to cross to meet me. To arrive as if nothing happened and take the past away.

I'm waiting for the same truck to come along again. Bringing me the thing I want most.