excerpted from “Notes On a Lemon-Scented Closet
by Adriana Gonzalez
{from e-Issue #10}


I don’t suppose you know about cicadas—their tendency to swarm, the way they sound electric.

I assume you would attempt to spell cicada s-i-c-k-a-d-a, because that’s how I first spelled it when a Midwestern friend told me that the broken, buzzing power lines were in fact large, bulbous insects.

We worked all day in the heat, thumbing at the ground, picking weeds by the roots.

This summer has been about sifting, swimming, transplanting. About the awareness of air, the discomfort of sleeping alone, the satisfaction of riding a bike.

This is about how lemon is my favorite scent.

I stand over moving soil, tiny creatures folding and refolding before they retreat to bluer depths. I stand over moving soil on Sundays.

How do I properly convey this invasion? One of the limbs, of the veins?

I position myself in the kitchen so that our elbows do not touch when we cut cucumbers.

Your knives are not sharp.

You are not left handed, and still, we are in each other’s way when we tend to the vegetables.

An invasion of a lemon-scented closet means I find that for whatever reason, your hangers are on the floor. Your shoes have no laces. Your hats smell of sweat. I’m tangling with the foliage that suspends from your ceiling.

An invasion of the veins means exactly that.

I have never seen a live cicada. Once, I saw a smashed brown bug by the washing machine in my basement. I thought it to resemble a potato bug. It might have been a cicada.

I fear our organs match for the wrong reasons. That when I press on your ribcage, it contracts because your frame slides under sheets, not because my hands revive you—not because they shock you into beating.

. . .

Adriana Gonzalez is currently studying Creative Nonfiction at Columbia College Chicago, where she teaches first year writing and is an assistant editor for Hotel Amerika. Her work has appeared in Hippocampus, Bohemian Pupil Press, Label Me Latin, and is forthcoming in Weave Magazine. Adriana hails from Corona, California, and lives in Chicago.