for Dadi, my grandmother
Summertime, we eat mangoes—
Their sweet ether smell
And wrinkled skin,
Easily broken, oozing juice.
I prick your finger,
Your aged hands shake
You are quiet though it stings.
I squeeze your blood up test strips—
too sweet, always too sweet—
Still, you ask me to slit us mangoes
We suck sweet pulp to the pits
Pluck fibers from our teeth.
Soon you’ll weaken and feel your pulse
Pounding in your head, but for now
Sticky trails run down your neck,
Your face creased deep with dimples
As you laugh, fructose-drunk.
From JAMA Poetry and Medicine