Crushed and Dirty Mangoes

[Exercise: When did you taste your favorite fruit for the first time?]

Mangoes that—as a child— I’d bite into, releasing the smell honey mixed with jasmine mixed with sage mixed with lime

Mangoes so plentiful thousands are sold at markets, daily transported in large baskets balanced on heads of husky, dark-skinned women wearing colorful aprons, embroidered along the edges

Mangoes that—as a child— I’d grip with both hands, letting the juicy wetness drip along the sides of my mouth, my hands, my forearms

Mangoes so plentiful hundreds are sold on streets, daily served sliced, in clear plastic bags sweet and ripe, or green and tangy with a pinch of salt hustled by sweaty women, dark circles under their arms

Mangoes that—as a child— I’d eat and eat, leaving strands of pulp stuck between my teeth

Mangoes so plentiful thousands fall to the ground, and rot swarming with gnats and flies abandoned, overlooked oranges mixed with yellows mixed with reds mixed with greens crushed and dirty mangoes