The fig

To make this gesture, close your hand in a fist so the tip of your thumb pokes out between your index and middle fingers.

European in origin, the fig may represent female genitals, insulting the man at whom the fig is thrust by insinuating he is less than a man, or commenting that a passing woman is sexy or even easy to seduce. The fig can also symbolize virginity, female arousal, a phallic gesture, a worthless object, or the age-old joke: “Look, I’ve stolen your nose.” 


One thought on “The fig

  1. Keli Stafford The 2River View, 9.2 (Winter 2005)


    Guided only by cracks in the pavement
    she runs,
    her body ice-pale, ribs poking

    through her skin like wings.
    Every step burns her breathless.
    The wind rides

    her heels and whispers
    words to the back of her neck.
    She gives up a sigh to the air

    and it hisses like raindrops falling
    on fire.
    She knows now what it is to breathe.

    It is all uphill
    in the cold, her hair a liquid darkness
    like a halo of icicles

    as she runs
    from a wind that strips skin down
    to bone.

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