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Do you remember the smooth sweet papaya
And the goat next door that ate the thatch off our shed?
Monsoon season when the doorway was full of dripping sandals?
The warm sun?
Of course I remember my home.
How could I forget?
Who could forget
The river where we drank juice from fresh papaya
Here, we drink stale juice out of cartons when we get home.
From school, I miss the musty smell of our shed.
And the quiet river. Here, our toes do not get warmed by the sun
It is too cold to wear our sandals
We went on a school trip to a show where the dancers wore golden sandals
In the big city full of noise and grit. I want to forget
The green shade because it makes me sad to remember the sun
The green skin and pink inside of the papayas
Stacked like eggs inside our shed
I would steal one and eat it by the river on my way home
The dancers wipe off their makeup and drive home
They hang up their gilded sandals,
Wipe off their makeup, Shed
Their glittery leotards, and fall asleep. They forget
The crowds of admirers, cheeks pink like twin papayas
The music and costumes that cavort under the giant painted sun
Do you remember when bruised clouds covered the sun?
I was walking home
And the rain came. Not the monsoons, but a hurricane shaking down the papaya
And when we ran up the hill I lost my sandals
I try to forget
The dog and the cow and that man who washed past our shed
I hate this cramped house with four rooms and no cool shed
The dirty skyscrapers so tall they hide the sun
This language issuing from the mouths of strangers so quickly I forget
I miss my green dusty home
And even the goat that ran away with his horns trapped in my sandals
I miss the languid river, sweet rice and sweeter papaya
I try to make this place my home but I cannot forget
The muddy sandals drying in the sun
The papayas rotting in the damp of the washed out shed