Best of the Net 2014  

The Fig Wasp

Think about the sweetness,
that purple sanctuary.
This is all a male, wingless,
will ever know. Sugar that drips
from his sisters' 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'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.

- Ting Gou (from Ghost Ocean Magazine)