Mango Season by Violeta Orozco

Where is it now?
The food that once soothed my hunger
I walk through isles of Idaho potatoes, Washington Cherries, California plums. But I just can’t find fresh
ripe mangoes to make my tongue curl.

My dad used to buy three kinds at the market,
manila, petacón, ataúlfo and —
What was the other type called? My country slips behind,

I remember only the colors
the ritual of peeling and cutting and scooping soft pulp from hard seed
streets filled with mango vendors

transparent plastic cups revealing the intense
red powder of chile piquín
falling upon the yellow skin ocher unto amber

providing the necessary spice Spaniards ransacked the world for.

Where are they now, red mangoes hanging from Abuelo Vencho’s tree? our fingers filled with syrup
heavy bodies wading in thick juice mango-laden
orange-bellied bees sagging
under the weight of so much nectar.

I strain my eyes to see the golf course
built over grandpa’s land two thousand one hundred miles away but I can’t see a thing

mango season is over the tree has been felled luxury hotels
have swallowed
El Rancho
Bahía de Banderas Bay the entire peninsula
that once soothed my sight