When the figs are ripe

Daybreak is muted,
quilted in cloud and mist.
Clear skies at two
for a few days more,
the rains start
next week. We’ll have
damp trousers
for months.

The leaves are yellowing,
green hanging globes
grow heavier.
When the afternoon
sun breaks,
I’ll pick the figs.

Too ripe, and they’ll
leap like lovers kept waiting,
lusty flesh
falling apart with desire,
bursting seed.
Like teens,
any touch will do.

This tree and I
are not young.
Moss is on her branches,
yet still laden with fruit.
I am courting menopause,
there’s an obvious metaphor

Higher than comfort,
for I am afraid of heights,
balanced and shin-braced,
and ungainly ladder and I
climb into the sky.
I touch each fig,
testing for tenderness,
for consent.
Some leap.

Cradling my fingers
angled towards the palm
like slipping whites from yolks,
there’s another ovum for you,
I’ll catch the eager figs.

A slight twist
of foreplay, a little
sweet-talking caress
brings those
figs not yet
burning with desire,
yearning for consumption
into my hands.

The tree bleeds
milky sap
where the figs have been.
I whisper a thank you
into her branches,
leaving her lighter
than before.

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