I asked him recently if he thought I was crazy, as some do.
He said no, I want all the same things.
I wished I could tell him how I always washed my mangoes and wiped my chin,
I thought if I wore a sweater and a slip and a hat at the right times, life would turn out okay.
I'd like to call him, tell him how the wind is blowing hair across my face now.
Instead, I sit quietly, in the backwoods of Virginia
eating an unwashed, unpeeled mango
with the juices dripping down my chin.
I think the sun is a man,
but it’s hard to tell in this light. No,
it’s a mango, and I’m jealous of her.
—The Sun in Bemidji, Minnesota,
Seven summers as the mango sapling you planted together matured into the stunted young tree in the courtyard,
fruit glowing red and gold,
left to rot right where they fall to the ground.
Seven summers as your son grew
from an infant to a child old enough to understand abandonment
and reel from the sickly sweet stench of loss.
For the rest of his life, the smell of mangoes will make it hard for him to breathe.
— The Mango Tree,