The Cheeky Shag: Lychee
by Celina Huynh
On a steamy July afternoon in Shanghai, she pulls a plastic box of lychees out of the fridge. Sitting nude cross-legged on an acrylic chair, she peels the cold bark to reveal a balmy, white flesh and devours the fruit like Starburst. She plucks, sucks, and swallows then spits out bulbous seeds. A pile of red and brown shells collects on the kitchen table, the sweet residue trickling onto the surface. There is no air conditioning in her apartment, the heat rises.
When she looks at her breasts she sees lychees, warm and soft and delicate. She holds them, a pair of soft mounds underwired by fingers still sticky from juicy fruit. Sweat collects in the crevice. She wets a bath towel and gently grazes her chest, then the back of her neck, her shoulders, her underarms, the soft of her belly and below.
She left Shanghai along with its skyscrapers and fruit stands. Now she sits at a bar on Broome Street in New York’s Lower East Side with a photographer from Berlin. The dim red lights and red stars that line the windows remind her of the lychee shells that sat in her kitchen. She asks if he misses Berlin; he asks if she misses Shanghai. They both agree that New York is a special place for crazy people who drink coffee while speed walking, and they couldn’t live elsewhere. She takes his hand and examines his palm, says that he has a short life line and nice thumbs. His thumbs amble under her shirt and between her breasts as he peels the knit material away from her skin. She shares her fruit, the syrupy flesh spilling over his lips. He indulges in the sweet stickiness, the lobes of summer, the humidity, the steam of her limbs. The red leather couch collects their sweat. He spits out her seed and discards her shells along with the night, along with the leftover summer.