Sugar Apple by Rajnish Mishra

Sugar apple green, yellow sometimes. Which shade of green?
Dark or light, artificial or small-painted-clay-toy green?

Which shade of yellow? Sunlight seen through a thin webbed peepal leaf
with most of its green gone, and just the veins and a film of leaf.

The shade of taste?
How does it taste?

I remember small grains rub against my tongue.
Correct me if I am wrong. I can taste it on my tongue,

that creamy sweet custard and the tighter flesh around the small,
black stones. Before all that comes my grandmother frail, small,

she used to keep sugar apples for me, along with it the other offerings
to Lord Vishnu roasted flour, slices of guava and banana, and sweets.

I’d get them all and with them, the sacred thread and a betel leaf,
a one rupee coin and a smile that tasted of blessings for me.