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How to eat a mango:

pick one at the store that looks red and ripe but isn’t

take it home and let it sit for three days,

gathering dust up on the shelf

find it again, just after midnight

when the hunger sets in

ask friends and family for direction

try and internalize what you hear

rinse it off — not well,

but just enough that

your peculiar hygienic obsessions are quelled

lay aside your fear of what you don’t know

try and get an image from your childhood stuck in your head

out of your head and into the dustbin

fail miserably.

 

take the mango and look for a paring knife

but finding none, choose a bread knife from the carving block

stale memories adhering to its sides

slice it lengthwise, cutting around the oblong pit

instead, slice directly into the pit and, finding no path,

turn it over and try again.

repeat until you end up with five attempts laid out before you

smell the unripe, sour smell of a mutilated skin

and a deep gash in your thumb that won’t stop bleeding

and floods into the fruit.

put the knife down (and away),

wrap your thumb in a paper towel affixed with duct tape.

pick out the crumbs from the folds in the skin

try and sort your humiliation out from your pride

as you take a deep breath and try again.

peel off the thick skin, taking small strips of flesh with it

attempt to chew off these tough veins

and receive a sour, tart unpleasantness on your tongue.

really do it this time, full-bore into the fruit

tear all the skin off and leave it on the counter

pick up your prize, unseemly and bleeding.

go at it like an animal, feel the ofttimes sour, sometimes sweet

taste flood onto your tongue.

 

appreciate the small things

like your mango failures

and don’t worry about

the way you look,

mango bits stuck in your beard

sticky juice drying quick onto your chin.

 

Remember the mango

and dream of further fruits.

‘Non, je ne regrette rien’

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