Figs

1.
I toasted a new year then walked home
alone at one AM after growing tired
of watching others kiss.

I was followed by a man fifteen blocks
before spotting people on a porch and running to them.
The man lurked under a streetlight,
flipping a knife around in his hand.

We went inside to dance and play beer-pong.
A sore loser shouted I’ll kill you.
I hummed along with “Boys Don’t Cry.”
Eventually the man went away, and so did I.

2.
Full of spring island breeze and ouzo,
I stared at a man in the doorframe
until my friend placed him on my lap.

Waking by the ocean on some rocks the next morning,
salt water stings my rock-scraped palms and knees.
He says καλημέρα and I say goodbye, he grabs my hand
says Σ ‘αγαπώ and I pretend to not understand.

Over brunch, my friend chuckled
when I raved about how good dried figs are.
She explained that fig, σύκο, is slang for “cunt,”
the way a ripe one looks when cut in half.

3.
Her mom gave me a fig tree once.
I watered it every day, not knowing it could drown.
I left town for two weeks and got home to see it fruiting.

She dated a guy who didn’t want to fuck,
he just wanted to get naked and kiss,
sometimes lay down to look at
and lick between her thighs.

In the yellow painted kitchen a teapot whistled
as she spread crushed figs on toast
before moving away again.


Kelly Jones believes in glitter, manatees, and strong opinions. Kelly has an MFA in Poetry and a BA in Literature and Social Justice. Currently you can find Kelly around Durham, NC, or online @callkellyjones.

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