by Priyanka Sinha

The first Mauritian papaya of the summer
Waits for me on the tree. Around it,
Thin, wispy leaves dance in the breeze,
Beckoning me over before the breakfast of morning birds.

As my feet carry me across the grass, it seems to whisper sweet soft melodies
Telling stories of a home I had never known.
My roaming fingers brush across its taut, leathery skin,
Pulled tight over orange flesh and dark, earthy seeds.

The first Mauritian papaya of the summer is bruised,
But it is also young, ripe, and alive,
My touch leaving a depression on its side.

And it is when my nails slice a slit in its flesh,
It is when golden juices flow freely over my wrists, seeping into my warm skin,
That I become the crown jewel of my island.
I am bold, as I am flirtatious, mingling between my self and my roots.
I am a golden speck
On a horizon of emerald waves and blue sky.
Here I am,
A part of the only earth
My family has ever known.