Jenny Wang


Jenny Wang is a graduate of
Stony Brook University and a
current OD candidate at SUNY
College of Optometry. Their
poetry has appeared in Buck Off
Magazine and their work was
previously longlisted for the 2021
F(r)iction Flash Fiction Contest.

Summertime Thief


by: Jenny Wang

My grandfather liked to steal figs
from the fig trees in the courtyard, ripe
or sometimes unripe
fruit spirited away
in a plastic bag dangling
from his hands.
Those figs must have belonged
to someone, although I guess
no one cared enough to pluck
the fruits off those trees
anyway. My grandfather always
held one out to me, like a
prize, and urged me to eat it.

In biology class, for fun, we learned about
how wasps brought pollen into the fruit of the fig trees and
died there, unable to escape. Their bodies
would be digested like apples or oranges or
figs in someone’s stomach, and the figs
would ripen with
the end of summer.

My grandfather liked to steal figs from the courtyard, and there is not
one time
those figs weren’t
doughy and plain, the phantom crunch
of a wasp wing
lingering between my canines, but I smiled and swallowed and
said they were great
every time.

In summer, I hear the buzz of the wasps
by the balcony of my grandfather’s apartment, and I swing
an empty plastic bag in my hands,
ready for stealing.


bridge 2024