The tube carriage is full.
I sit, flushed from a night crying, hours sobbing for what I will never be; prickling with needles of painful warmth and feeling, like coming indoors from a day in the snow.
Peeling an orange, I break the skin off in small, wet pieces, putting each into my bag.
Next to me, a woman reads a Japanese guidebook, wrapped up against winter.
Sad still, the weight of the son I will never have sits on my hip, arms around me, dozing, face against my chest. His blond hair lightly brushes my chin. The lovers I will never meet sadly stretch out their arms.
Squeezing each pale orange segment in my mouth, I spit yellowy grey pips into my hand. Fingers outstretched, they are a stone circle on my palm; unborn, each seed the remainder of life never realised, a tree grown backward and compressed.
Absorbed, skin sticky, I hide and reveal them.
I want to feel everything, even lack.
With a smile of concern, the woman beside me nudges my arm, offering a soft tissue.
Taking it, I wrap the pips like a tiny treasure, putting them safely in my pocket, as if for later.
This story also appears in Lost and Found: Creature Magazine Issue 5, with illustration by Sarah Gooch.