The Death Dance of the Fig Wasp

Compelled toward her irresistible doom,

she lustfully orbits the still-firm pod

until natural necessity drives her

into a frenzy and she burrows herself

into the inverted flower of maleness,

shedding her instinctual caution,

sacrificing her capacity for flight,

plunging headfirst where many like her

have gone before but never returned,

martyring herself to the reproductive

process so that a future generation

of wasps and figs can survive, though

she herself will not; and so, wingless

and mired in the airless moment,

with no past or future to call her own,

she takes the mother’s chance,

creating new lives for death.


Copyright 2016

T. Allen Culpepper

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