Kelly Grace Thomas
Kelly Grace Thomas is a Poet and Educator.
She is the winner of the Los Angeles Poet Society's 4th Annual Summer Poetry Contest!
Kelly's work has previously appeared in Aaduna, Aries, Black Heart, Apeiron, and is forthcoming in Drylands, as well as other literary journals. She is first place winner of the 4th Annual LAPS Summer Poetry Contest and a 2015 Pushcart Prize nominee. Kelly was named Aaduna’s 2014 “Poet to Watch.” She currently lives in Venice Beach, California, where she coaches an award-winning youth poetry slam team and recently completed her debut novel, The Travis Bannister Conflict.
How to Eat a Mango in July
Touch with intention.
Consider how the dance of your fingers
walks its curves.
Decide where to linger,
where to become the after earth, the just-our-secret,
the reason for bruise and blossom.
This stone fruit, is as wet and growing as first kiss heart beat.
Do not call it exotic, or tropical, you are in its place, not it in yours.
Admire its skin, thick against you,
give it a reason not to be.
Peel it back like the clothes of a lover;
admire the flesh before it meets lips
Inside its sticky sunrise lullaby waits
a slow dance daydream that knows your first name.
This is your summer, your first bite.
It is every reason you have to stay for one more song,
to look want in the eye and exhale.
When you place your teeth against it,
press tongue to tender,
be sure to close your eyes.
Don’t be distracted by grocery store receipts
or missed calls you will never return.
Just know, in this moment, there nothing between you and softness.
Let taste become the only thing that matters now.
Let the juices wet your grin, before you wipe them away.
They say the heat of a city should have its own name,
That we should give tongue to that animal that traps us and holds us under.
There is no lifeguard for the Berlin night, no seagull call
that will make you think you are somewhere else.
Even with eyes closed, you can feel its breathing.
Berlin’s heat is the cousin you forgot you had, until you invite them in,
see the way their skin almost looks like yours.
The way they hold your family secrets under the table like a poker hand. The heat
can make things talk.
Come August, Berliners start to wish for snow, wish for a feeling fits.
In line for pastries, they make jokes about jelly doughnuts and stupid Americans.
And time floats like powder sugar, like the fallen snow with stainless chill, blanketed and predictable.
The Germans have always known how to be hard, how to be buttoned-up and deadlines.
They, the captain, tight pressed nose to binoculars behind the wheel.
Not the lazy Parisian under sun hat glamour.
There is nothing functional about the way this city melts.
Nothing exotic about how sometimes summer undresses you,
before you’re ready,
like a child pulled from the bath, still steamy and sticky.
But still they try, they paint their nails coral and read romance novels on rooftops.
They watch as their lemoned stained skin learns to lobster.
Summer is something Hollywood has taught them to do.
A starring role cast with hair blowing in the wind, and naked in the sheets lazy mornings.
But how can you teach a thing, a place, with a tongue of bricks
how to a wear a whisper?