What Men Have Told Me

by Khin Maung


A man grabbed my arm in a busy market place.

His hand shook me, then invited me with a smile;


“Eat this lychee.” He said


“It’s flesh is ripe, the juice sweet and the pit—

not bitter. Unlike any other.”


So I took it as he placed it in my open palm.


On the flesh where its stem should have been,

poked out a young larvae,

the color of cream and milk

wriggling free from the deep seed.


It continued to squirm on to

the translucent flesh,

and bathe in the sweet nectar

that wet my hand.


And so I turned to the man,

bracing his hand over my arm

to slowly press his cheek and whisper—


“I’ll take all of it."