my neighbor caught me admiring her figs.
“admiring” is too polite a word
for the way i brushed the green curves
with my fingertips as i walked by.
i covet her figs. i lust after them.
“it’s a lot of figs, isn’t it?” she said,
and i laughed, “you must be sick of them by fall.”
she nodded, unsmiling, “we hardly eat any,”
and went back inside,
watching from her window as i walked on.
i think of the figs i saw last year
rotting in her yard, on the sidewalk,
brown smears, studded with seeds and ants.
i wanted her to continue, “so eat your fill when they’re ripe!”
but she didn’t. her figs will rot on the ground again
and i will walk past her house with figs
in a plastic clamshell, purchased in a grocery store.
today, her figs are green and hard
in the solstice sun. i carry cantaloupe and cherries
to the park, chilled wine, a stack of books.
one green fig is already smashed on the sidewalk.