A female fig keeps its ovaries in confinement. It lets a wasp in through an ostiole to pollinate its inner florets. The wasp dies, unable to lay eggs. The fig digests it. If it was a male fig, the wasp would lay the eggs. Women often carry wasps in their chests when their cervices are examined. The tree aborts the fruit if the wasp lays the eggs and fails to carry pollen inside the fruit. In villages women slaughter cows if they don’t produce milk.
Agata Maslowska was born in Poland and lives in Scotland. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Edinburgh Review, New Writing Scotland, -algia, Amberflora, Blackbox Manifold, Gutter Magazine, among others, and been anthologized in A Thousand Cranes: Scottish Writers for Japan (Cargo) and Glasgow (Dostoyevsky Wannabe). She is the recipient of the Hawthornden Writing Fellowship and the Gillian Purvis Award for New Writing. You can find her at @AgataMaslowska on Twitter.
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