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Your skin is a lemon, easy to peel. Slough away each bit with mandoline, slicer, knife, until you have a pile of empty bits. Snow pile. Rub your belly in the mess, wet. Shove the fat into a jar. This is your morning.

When the soft spot blackens into a bruise, peel again. While you work, do not wipe away the sweat from your brow. Let it well up in great slithering pools and drop into your eyes, ears, nose. The fruit is terrible now, like poison. Throw it away and grab a different piece, this one less ripe. The ritual keeps you sane.

Roll the spikes between your palms. Rambutan, jackfruit, durian, mace. Cut it in half, and while the juice sprays into the air, the droplets are projectiles, flying saucers, paper planes. The room is hot and you’re tired, but there’s more work to do and the breeze from your small white fan soothes your face and neck.

Back to the job at hand. Get a glass bowl and mash the pulp, rind and all. Squeeze through your fingers until sticky. Now add salt. What you’re left with is garbage. Toss it away. Slice the next into four pieces. Notice the flesh is delicate and pink. Take a bite.

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