Living Under the Mango Shade

In our yard groceries hung from bending limbs.
We had banana,
avocado, tamarind,
and the kind of green
only God makes.
But most of all we had mangoes,
and mango time.

Half size with bare feet and tender hands,
but somehow straight up trunks
past limbs thicker than I was. Up
into the tangled lightness, to branches
my small weight could shake.
I'd grip Caribbean hands onto a branch,
drop and dangle, twist and bounce,
to watch mangoes
rain onto our mostly
dirt yard. And then climb down at falling
speed; gather the fruit, peel, lightly bite,
and scrape. To drink in the spices
only mangoes know.
To feel a cool nectar dribble
out of the corners of the mouth,
off the chin,
soak chest and abdomen
clean, and drip to muddy the ground
below. Dripping to give the Eden
yellow that comes with strings
between the teeth.


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