The poem uses the literary device of second-person address, which gives the poem an intimate, conversational feeling. An example of this kind of direct address is the following:
I sit beside you in the cafeteria
The poem also employs imagery, which is description that uses any of the five senses of sight, sound, taste, touch, or smell. In this poem, the imagery is primarily visual, with the different foods that the speaker and her companion eat compared:
You look down at your food
and eat your cheeseburger,
I eat the lemon rice in my box.
The descriptions of food are also symbolic and examples of metonymy and juxtaposition; "cheeseburger" and "lemon rice" represent the larger cultures the two characters, the speaker and her friend, come from. The speaker's vegan lemon rice and coconut are contrasted with the dairy-laden cheeseburger of her friend.
Diction also helps tells story of this narrative poem. The speaker uses the simple words of a child to convey a simple lesson about the importance of a smile to healing wounds.
Alliteration, which is when words starting with the same consonant are used in close proximity, helps establish a pleasing sense of rhythm in the first stanza of the poem, with repeated s sounds drawing attention to such key words as Surya, sun, and smile.