In late June,
the mango tree in our yard spills with life
Its limbs overflow, bearing succulent gifts:
yellow, bursting bells — framed with banyan leaves
There is a sunrise painted upon every mango,
shades of red, yellow, and raw green
Its musky aroma blossoms in the air — it screams out to me,
accompanied by the humming of the bees
We raid the mango tree,
juice spilling down our cheeks
Lips stained golden
in the blazing Thai heat
The proper way to eat a mango
is to strip away its yellow coat
and ravage the golden flesh hidden beneath
Fish out the fibers trapped between our teeth
Watch the mangoes sweat, and
let their sweet juices flow through our veins.
We do not wash our hands — our fingers will forever be sticky
with this golden silk.
Yani Li was 16 years old and a junior at Cranbrook Kingswood in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan when she wrote this piece. She loves to paint, read, and write in her free time. When she’s not expressing herself creatively, you’ll find her volunteering or on the lake with her school’s rowing team.