The Fig Tree
We walk down the path with our children.
Dust rises behind us like smoke.
The ground is littered with figs:
small purple bodies
burst open to show their red seeds.
Foreignness blooms quietly inside their wounds.
All these years I wished to be whole,
my fragmented self constantly rearranging
its pieces to suit new surroundings.
Now I find the puzzle all wrong, some pieces
not only missing but clearly irretrievable.
The picture I have in front of my eyes
tells lies. It fractures faces, contorts
limbs, splits bodies in two.
Everything’s backwards: the sky
holds a bodiless earth on its plate; the giant fig trees
point downward like ingrown toenails.
I look at the pattern of leaves above our heads.
Solid branches crisscross this way and that, each
with its purpose – a self-contained universe
to which we cannot belong.
Here are my leaves –
they form passageways of dense shadows,
where the light
travels unencumbered, precise
before hitting the ground and dying
Here are my limbs –
they mold the air, they push it
toward the scattered figs on the ground,
toward these lonely people
scattered among the figs.
Originally from Chisinau, Moldova, Romana Iorga is a Romanian-American poet living in Switzerland. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ruminate, saltfront, Borderlands, as well as on her poetry blog at clayandbranches.com.
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