He lights his cigarette, I prepare to share it,
just so his lungs could see less tar.
He’s in a reflective mood; I can tell by the way
the flame emerged from his lighter
red and tenderly squirmed like a worm in a furnace.
He holds my gaze as the flame faints back in its tank
drags on the cigarette, slowly tilts his head back.
I ever tell you the story about the mango?
He had, but I like that story so I let him bring it back.
He pauses, taking in enough breath to project the memory.
In Jamaica, like you get sweets in shops, I got mangos on trees,
I remember one mango, leaning towards me from the branches,
It was the colours of a sunset burning out, ripe red, yellow and orange,
It looked perfect if there were such a thing
He laughs, I smile, he resumes.
I had to have it!
He points to the top of the tree from his room.
I climbed that tree and ripped the mango from the socket of its branch,
slid back down with it tight in my palms, peeled off half its skin,
anxiously bit down into its bright yellow wounds and...
This is the part where he relives his cringe
it was horrid, ugh, so bad, the worst taste I remember!
His face drops back into place.
I smile and think about pretty faces that broke my heart.