Fig

Ahmad Almallah

BPR 47 | 2020

I.

And the worst was discovering the fig trees in the city—their
leaves die and dry harshly at first contact with the cold. I
pass the one that was first pointed out to me. There is no
trunk to this tree, it’s all bare branches now. In summer it
never looked like a tree either. More like a bush it was. Some
heaviness in the air always pushing it down, never allow-
ing it to extend to the sky like the fig it’s supposed to be. I
never dared to taste its fruit. I picked them from the branch
a couple of times and watched the milk ooze out from stem.
And when touched, the milk didn’t seem thick enough and
that was that: only an image you keep in mind, and in the fall
. . . only this bare trunk that used to hold the only thing that
gave it away: its miracle of leaves.

II.

Yes: the old world and the Americas are straying apart at a
rate of two centimeters per year, and yes: home is getting
farther away from where I left it, and I am, despite my thread
of longing, getting really ahead of myself.

III.

Memory is everything and that’s why life is such a drag:
you’re always holding the moment to a mirror, you’re always
losing focus or increasing it to some point—and when lost
completely you are a vase of stale air.