A woman had lemons in her head. It’s not that she wanted to make lemonade. She simply had lemons in her head. She could feel them in her head the same way she could feel a star dying. The woman insisted on getting an MRI. She wanted to see X-rays of the lemons. She imagined it would be like looking at the moon suspended in the night sky. The technician gave her Bocelli to listen to. The woman smiled as the conveyer belt slid her into the machine like luggage in an airport.
The woman had no idea what Bocelli was singing. Estoy muriendo amor porque te extraño. She imagined the words were something about lemons. Te extraño, te extraño. Perhaps he had lost lemons. The conveyer belt shook back and forth, jiggled her body, as though she were on a motorboat. Te extraño, te extraño. Then the woman saw it: the ferry motoring towards Capri. She looked closer and saw her husband. The woman looked closer still and saw her husband smiling, his one missing tooth, on a tiny bus winding its way up the roads of Capri. And then she smelled the lemons. She saw the lemon orchards, lemon trees stretching for miles, wrapping around Capri like the gold ring that once wrapped around her left finger.
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This piece originally appeared in Rattle 29, Summer 2008. It was also included in the author’s collection, A Woman is a Woman is a Woman is a Woman, published by Steel Toe Books.