The Fig Wasp

BY Ting Gou


Think about the sweetness,
that purple sanctuary.
This is all a male, wingless,
will ever know. Sugar that drips
from his sister'sā€™ bodies.
The wax world, a dense heart
of which they are the heartbeat.
Hold the right fig to your ear
and you can hear the universe
swarm with larval wasps. 
And isn'ā€™t he, at least, pitiable, 
that even after being born,
this little honeyed bell is all he knows?
And what mythology does he invent
to explain a life so dark and sweet?
When you left, I would imagine
you inhabiting doorways. 
And for a year, how the light caught
the hairs on your arm.
Hold the right fig to your ear
and hear everything.
The male fig wasp bores a hole
through the hardened fruit for his sisters.
They escape and multiply. 
He crumbles in the sun. 

 

Ghost Ocean 13

Ting Gou reads "The Fig Wasp"


Ting Gou lives and writes in Ann Arbor, where she is pursuing an MD at the University of Michigan Medical School. Her poems have been anthologized in plain china: Best Undergraduate Writing. She holds an BA in molecular biology from Princeton, where she also completed a creative writing thesis. She was a previous editor of The Nassau Literary Review