the truth about figs
Each ripe fig has at its heart a devoured wasp:
a solitary female, to pollinate
the fruit's inverted blossom; she crawls in
at the meeting of the bracts, the ostiole:
a hole so small it rips her antennae,
splits the tectonic opacity
of skeletal wings; sky-bereft and undone,
she nonetheless tends the fig's dark garden,
its minute inflorescence – strokes stigma,
seeds stamen, tucks her eggs into the styles
of ovule florets – and settles into death:
the enzymatic gall of her own deflowering.
Sink your tongue into the burst of purple skin;
mouthful of fleshy sweetness, born of a sting.
Listen to Angela read the poem.