for Cathy

She brings me a Cabello mango
the second time we met
at Middlefield Computer Lab.
“This is the Philippino kind—
very sweet, you'll like it.”
When she puts it in my palm,
I'm back not in Eve's garden
but in Descartes' dream
November 10, 1619—

Caught in a storm, he runs to
his Jesuit College for refuge,
the whirlwind sweeps him to
the town square, a maiden hands
him a melon, opens his eye
to ten thousand flames of light,
to Pythagoras's Wisdom Book.
Descartes awakes from his dream
and creates analytical geometry,
a new Cartesian philosophy.

But that was then and this is now—
what new discovery awaits me?
I offer her mango to the full
strawberry moon of June
shining through my window,
and peel the skin with a knife—
its spiral coil measured exactly
36 inches on my yardstick.
I open to page 36 of my book
Rumi Daylight and find:

The light which shines in the eye
is really the light of the heart.
The light which fills the heart
Is the light of God, which is pure,
beyond the light of intellect & sense.

Rumi's light floods my mind,
her mango's juice on my lips,
its yellow pit stares at me,
a giant almond halo in flames—
Ah, the mandorla, the aureole
around Christ in Majesty
the Royal Portal of Chartres.
Crivelli's Vision floating
in air, a vertical blimp rising.

Ah, the vesica piscis—
two equal circles intersecting
each other at their centers form
the pointed oval surrounded by
waning & waxing crescent moons.
It's on the Chalice Well's lid
at Glastonbury, the almond's shape
resembles a fish, symbol of Christ.
Dryden says “mangos offer little
nourishment”, but this mango's
sweetness is endless— a deep well,
an eternal spring. I touch my fingers
and thumbs forming seven mandorlas—
doors not to other worlds, but a prayer
to this one, for a friend bringing gifts
of beauty, wisdom, and blessings.

Peter Y. Chou
Mountain View, 6-17-2000

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P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (6-17-2000)