HOW TO EAT DRAGONFRUIT by Sarah Sweeney
Let your lover fish pesos from his pocket
to buy you one bright pitaya—dragonfruit—
pink as your bra strap, with yellow, inedible
nipples. You’ll want to devour it then,
thirsty as you are, dizzied from the heat
and his hand on your thigh, the other steering
cracked highways, radio hissing faraway norteño
with every right turn.
Forget the fruit in each hotel he brings you to.
It’s buried beneath wet clothes, a baggie
with toothbrush and soap. Let him peel you
with his mouth, scoop you with his hands
to each hard bed, every rough maroon comforter
that dissolves you like sugar. Let him call you
sweet in an accent that hurries your kisses
across his skin like water.
It’s best eaten cold, he’ll tell you in the morning.
Dream of its taste like his flesh,
if he disappeared tomorrow. Dream of its color
like heirloom suns flaring above Coba, Tulum,
baking your shadows in ruins. Leave it firming
in the fridge, but have him steady your hand
when you’re ready, the shaking blade splaying
its center: two ice-white glaciers.
He will offer its seeded belly with a spoon—
he’ll feed you all of it, tickling
your throat like goodbye, all instantaneous melt.
How could you ever depict its flavor?
Call it a doorway—you will never again return
to the pale, misspent girl; the you before dragonfruit.
Now you carry the tart pucker of those exotic husks,
now you’ve crossed over.
Issue 5 Contents NEXT: Three Poems by Leah Silvieus