Jennifer Avignon

a fig is not a berry

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.

Jennifer Avignon (she/her) is a queer poet who lives in Seattle with her husband and lots of houseplants. She is currently enrolled in the MFA program at Seattle Pacific University. She is on the editorial board of The WEIGHT Journal. Her work also appears in This Present Former Glory and in Stepaway Magazine.

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