Ella Frances Sanders


Citrus Fruit

August 15th. Cabo de Gata-Níjar National Park, Espagne.

It is quiet, except for the occasional whine of a mosquito, the noises carried on the wind from the village across the valley. The sky, which has been alight with pinks and oranges so vivid I swear that I could smell them, is now bruised with 10pm clouds. Silhouetted is the mountain we climbed years ago; it has not moved, and although it is miles away it looks like I might be able to stroke it from here.

I’m sitting with one foot in the water, my left, the other leg bent to support this paper, these thoughts brought on so suddenly by the stillness that I feel quite panicked—I don’t know if I will be able to get them out of my head fast enough. I’m leaning against an uneven stone wall in a thin blue shirt but I am not uncomfortable; when you surrender your flesh completely to the hardness of the ground, of the architecture, you are met with surprisingly little resistance.

If I am being bitten I do not know it, but it is getting steadily darker and soon enough I will not be able to see—what I am writing, or anything else. I think that I can taste Morocco, Algeria, a scent of the most unlikely home as a single star becomes visible in the sky. And it is shouting at me, wanting me to gaze at it open-mouthed and awestruck—I do, of course, it would be rude not to.