Skin II: Firebird

Hope Wabuke


A year after the last time he has come back
and I have left him, his markings on my body 

deepened from darkened bruise to press
within nerve, tendon and bone 

I meet a friend for dinner. Pulled
one by one from the oyster mouth 

of her unclasped red handbag
she gives me lemons, yellow pearls raw
in the press of becoming

and I understand how the first creation
was not of water and newborn pink flesh 

but out of ashed embers
ended, that single 

red-risen flame.