Sanjana Saksena Chandra

Mangoes remind me of summer
suckling on the tip
like a babe to a breast
nector as satiating as a mother's milk

Sticky hands but glowing eyes
reveling in the sweetness
ignoring the mess
peeling the skin of the king

Why king I had once innocently asked
can't there be only one ruler
So many mangoes can't all be king
I never really got an answer

The mangoes came in crates
from other cities, as gifts
I could never tell the difference
to me they all tasted like summer

They brought us together
gathered around spread out newspapers
tasked to protect the marble floor from yellow stains
dripping though fingers oblivious

The mushy ones became milkshakes
the raw ones churned into chutney
dried into strips of candy or cut and pickled
whatever you fancy

Mangoes remind me of summer
but not the kind I remember
now they come to me sliced and cubed with a fork
a little less sweeter

This work has been published in Beetle Magazine's June 2020 Issue. Read the full issue here:

Illustration by Dhanashree Pimputkar

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