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SUN AND SCARS

Acid suddenly bites my left thumb
as I start to eat a mango I've sliced up
for little sister and me: it's a knife scrape,
slow to sting thanks to a callus.
Other parts of me exposed
to play are also rough, or scarred
from falls. The scars fade with sun.

From science classes, my light logic
concludes that sun covers bodies
with a temporary scar called a tan,
or burns-in hieroglyphs
like the stretch marks
after sister left mom's
mango-ripe tummy.

I love the sun with mom in it,
her ghost-pale skin dark with tan
and the taste of sun
in the mango's juice that flows
down the southwest corner of my mouth.

      — Alexander Pepple