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How to Cut a Mango

by Hussain Ahmed

Hold your palms together

as if you say a prayer

to its rotten stalk, and memories of childhood.

We danced in the wind and stared at the sun, until it ripened.

For now, your palm is a sanctuary for fruits.

How you choose to scar the mango depends of what you cut it with.

The sour of your tongue is elegy for what fell.

How do you like to remember the scars on sweet things?

To cut a mango, your teeth are a perfect tool for digging through its flesh,

until you can hear echoes of love in your ears.

You may close your eyes, this ritual is enough supplication

to the fibers that would sweeten your tongue.

If you trust the kitchen knife,

the mango becomes a sacrifice for the seasons to come.

In March, I waited for the bloated sky

to purge out the water it holds.

The green leaves are diaries of how we prayed for the rain,

I learnt to climb a mango tree, before I learnt to say any prayer.

Since then, I have learned to love differently,

But to cut would mean to reveal the beauty that lies beneath foreskin.

You may cut the mango into shapes that would remind you of the pendants

you once gave a lover, you may let it remind you of home.

Each bite could shed the weight you hold in your body, don't swallow the pit,

bury it in your backyard, for the seasons to come.

Art by Kathleen Quaintance



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