The following is from Carmen Boullosa’s The Book of Eve . Boullosa is one of Mexico’s leading novelists, poets, and playwrights. She has published over a dozen novels, three of which have been published by Deep Vellum in English translation. Boullosa has received numerous prizes and honors, including a Guggenheim fellowship. Also a poet, playwright, essayist, and cultural critic, Boullosa is a Distinguished Lecturer at City College of New York. I moved my hands toward the apple. I touched it. Its skin was a different temperature—unlike stone, unlike my body, unlike air; its texture felt completely foreign, a warning of the unknown—it wasn’t smooth like lambskin or sharp like my teeth, it was neither water nor rock. Neither light nor darkness. Nor chaos. The apple’s skin awakened my own skin and when I felt that, I had the courage to tell my hand, “Take it!” In one, swift motion I yanked the apple from the branch. I touched its skin to my lips. Once again it promised the unknown. I opened my mouth. My tongue touched it. I bit down. I chewed, it was sweet, and the tinkling bell sound the apple’s flesh made when my jaws crushed it echoed in my ears. I chewed with gusto, my jaws wanting to bite the apple again to hear that pealing, that sweet thunder, that crushing sound. Immediately, or simultaneously, I felt an enormous wave of pleasure, or perhaps it was a lightning bolt that started inside me and moved outward, lightning that didn’t burn but was gentle—though that’s not quite right, because I didn’t tremble and it didn’t hurt, although it was intense, caustic, a lashing of sheer pleasure, piercing, expanding through me. The apple’s flavor awakened my taste, my hearing, my smell, my sight: my consciousness. Everything changed with that bite. And I mean it when I say “everything” because when I’ve said that before it has been taken as an indication of my lack of restraint, not the accuracy of my language. I continued chewing the pulp that was in my mouth. Each bite was another sound, another […]
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