Meditation on a Ficus Tree

By DENISE DUHAMEL

 

mermaid legs/ whiskers/ open mouth/ callipygian bark/
semen sap/ elbow fold/ knees/ arms stretched above a head/
torso swung upside down/ hair sweeping the ground/
breasts/ cave turned inside out/ toes holding on/
eye socket/ palm/ thumb/ twisting veins/ freckle/ bellybutton/
vulva/ ghost fetus/ nose/ nipple/ thigh/ petrified cloud

***

Fast growing ficus roots can push through wood structures, lift cement sidewalks, patios, and driveways, even bust through brick. They can crack septic tanks and water pipes, trample or choke out other plants.

***

I fed my lover a sacred fig, a mistletoe fig, a creeping fig.
If he was sad, I served him a weeping fig, then a clown fig.
After we argued, he gobbled a lofty fig, a wavy-leafed fig, a common fig.
When he left, I covered myself with a leaf.

 

 

Denise Duhamel is the author, most recently, of Blowout and Ka-Ching!

[Purchase your copy of Issue 05 here]

Meditation on a Ficus Tree

Related Posts

Image of almonds pouring from a glass bowl.

Reina María Rodríguez: Poems in Translation

REINA MARÍA RODRÍGUEZ
Naturally, Flaubert’s parrot / could not be called Chucho, / his author wouldn’t stick him / with a name like that. / From which follows the importance of names. / But in the stories last night / —the reconstruction of a postcard / which we were creating...

Image of hill, river, and houses.

Joss

PATRICIA LIU
Paper is thin. In the beginning, still billows in the wind, still petal-like, still grounded in this world / of living. The incense is the only material that translates the viscera to mist. Early, the fog has not yet / lifted, and we move through the white drip as if through total darkness. Fish lost in the deep under- / water.

poetry feature image

March 2021 Poetry Feature: Sylvie Durbec

SYLVIE DURBEC
I still don’t know how to type a tilde on a computer keyboard / when writing the name of a Spanish or Portuguese writer I love. / Nor do I know what poetry is. / I don’t know whether we need it. Or not. / And what we really need here. / Elsewhere, water, bread, milk.