by Shelly Rodrigue
I didn’t always know your name,
but I like the way it rolls off my tongue
long and oval, Malay for hairy,
a tropical fruit with translucent flesh,
so foreign and exotic, an intoxicating red
against the whiteness of my hands.
Let me open you and reveal that sweet interior,
the mystery hidden under your sunset skin
guarded by thousands of spines
that soften at my touch
much like the woman
who introduced me to you.
I delight in your delicacy,
juices running down my arms
as I eat you in gentle nibbles
and think of her.
In the morning, I’ll be sticky and alone.
She’ll be half way around the world
in the scorching place she calls home,
but we’ll still have you, Rambutan—
my “hairy grapes,” and her “chom chom,”
keeping secrets we learned in the shade
so distant the evergreen from which we fell.