I drag the knife across the skin of a mango, travel the circumference of its red-green shell, a bead of juice seeping out at the seam. Dig my fingers into the flesh, break the fruit apart into uneven halves. I hand one to you, lift the other to my mouth and bite the flesh, juice running down my chin, streaking my neck. You eat till only the deflated skin remains. I gnaw at the pit, mouth it smooth. You dip your head, lick from my breasts the rivers of juice.
Needed no snake. Grew the fruit myself. Was the vine and the rain and the light. Was the dirt. The hand reaching out, fingering the sweet swell, the sharp crunch of my teeth sinking into skin, the crisp taste in my mouth. Needed no forked tongue tickling my ear, cooed the words to myself, a lullaby, a love song. I wanted, I took. When only the poison seeds clinging to the core remained I tossed it aside, kicked dirt over it. The seeds might grow into a new tree, might feed another girl’s hunger, be the key to her own opening, her becoming.
*with lines borrowed from sometimes i wish i felt the side effects by Danez Smith
Courtney LeBlanc is the author of the chapbooks All in the Family (Bottlecap Press) and The Violence Within (Flutter Press) and is an MFA candidate at Queens University of Charlotte. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in Public Pool, Rising Phoenix Review, The Legendary, Germ Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Brain Mill Press, Haunted Waters Press, and others. She loves nail polish, wine, and tattoos. Read her blog at www.wordperv.com, follow her on twitter: @wordperv, or find her on facebook: www.facebook.com/poetry.CourtneyLeBlanc.