Ripe

by Charlotte Runcie

Late last summer, I wore gingham

and brought you fruit from next door, scrumped.

I wanted to crunch

the flesh

and let the juice dribbledown

your

chin

as we kissed,

and mingle the sweetness.

I had painted my fingers and toes and eyelids with colours you liked

And you licked my sticky lips, shiny dappled apple-red

until the apples blushed. You were more lovely

and more temperate, but the summer was Indian

or maybe you didn’t like the gingham.

I ran a bath too hot,

too deep and my skin burst into red like the apples.