Sundays we shopped Malagasy Market,
teeming with tall, silk-clad women.
Bianca bought persimmons, Pablo Neruda
lemons, pomegranates – their beautiful
red jewels hidden inside translucent skins.
She claimed all feminine fruits are Latin,
same as brown-nippled breasts, kisses
on each cheek, sultry dance rhythms.
Bianca opened jars for me, her hands
strong as a man’s. I rubbed suntan oil
into her back and shoulders, read poems
to her in three languages. She read my palms,
told me our past life in Rio. Friends asked
What time is it? just to hear her accent.
We posted one semester off Africa’s coast,
September through New Year’s Eve, our house
overlooking the ocean. Those were special
days on a magical island, seeing secret rituals,
turning of the bones, women kissing women.
We departed Madagascar smarter, richer
than when we’d landed, unashamed how
we felt for each other. Incorrigible.