Honey-flavored lozenges coating our throats, you split a mango in the tree shade by the lemonade stand, fleshing out the football shaped seed. Juices running down our chins, you begin a burial ceremony for all the mango seeds we have eaten since June — lumps of fresh dirt — little graves — as if all our pets suddenly died overnight. Our backyard turned cemetery. It was, after all, a promise to one another: I will be here to pick mangos from our seed-turned-trees year after year with you. A honey summer fruit promise. The neighborhood kids are playing under the street- lamps. The dog is scratching at the backdoor. A bird picks at the soft earth, looking for something to eat. You and I are washing our sticky hands. — ANDREA LAWLER
Andrea Lawler is a poet, essayist, and short story writer. She holds a degree in English Language & Literature. She is the founder of two non-profits: Keeping Emmons County Clean & Frankie’s Feline Sanctuary. She currently lives in North Dakota with her three cats.