You pick it up in the market,
press its belly against your cheek,
pull in its scent, test for a firm core.
in the cart, next to a jar of pickles, bag
of radicchio, salsa, it lolls on its side,
bands of red, yellow, touch of green
near whatís left of a stem. Drumming
your fingers at checkout, you are sprawled,
sandy, singing under breath, Underneath
the mango tree me honey, and we can watch
for the moon, dizzy from sun blazing
the same stripes of ripe color, smell drifting down
from fronds you wrap around thigh, arm.
You find yourself at home without knowledge
of how you came. No matter,
bag on table, cutting board, best knife,
you begin to slice, each stroke necessitating
a kiss, a slurp of juice. The droplets that form
on the blade plead for your lips, tongue, teeth
but youíve made that mistake before. It now
lays, exposed, whole strips of flesh,
long slender seed & whatís left of the inside.
You begin to suck. There is no better way
to do this, no other method with such
proper effect, that allows no strand
the color of sun going down
behind Adirondacks in summer to be wasted.
You drag teeth along outer skin
until nothing is left but it. Juice runs
from corners of mouth, down chin, slides
to neck. You come up for breath.
Afterwards, you sit, bathed in the bloom
now growing in your nose. You search,
frantic for any extra shred on the skins,
then remember yourself. You begin to pick,
taste each bit stuck in hums, smell your thumb,
wrist, forearm. Collecting the flaps of color
now pale, exhausted, you thank each,
show them to compost, think the whole way back
of what else you need at the store,
of a mango grave thriving in Maine snow,
of whether youíll let yourself pursue
this globe of light & sin again.
All thatís left is the seed.