• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 05

The Smell of Ripening

When I became an adult, I thought:
Now I must learn to love fruits.
Now I must choose fruits above all else.
Not just the crisp green apple in my lunch box
but the soft graininess of the yellow pear too.
Not just big delmonte bananas and small
sweet bananas grown on Indian trees
but the uncertainties of plums and peaches too.

Soft things, with juices that vary with each tree
each season. Delicate things, vulnerable
to my treatment of them. Things that need
to be sliced with care or peeled or cored
or understood.

Today I shared a small pineapple with my husband.
Yes, he beheaded it and carefully cut the spiky skin
while preserving all the tangy fruit, but I bought it,
watched it ripen on the dining table, and when
its smell wafted up to meet me in the morning, said:
It is time.