A rose

Next time I see you I will be like a devil with horns
or a fire ball hotter and sharper red and bold as the head of a rose which holds itself above the prickly stem.

A face, the pearl in the centre of a pendant
glowing to you, a sacred thing,
to keep me safely at your chain.

I will wash the time off my body and be smooth
like a woman begging to be touched, and colour my face
so that I am not a pale memory.

And I will try my best
to wait, with arms tied together and my mouth taped shut,
to see if that is what you wanted.


Vanessa Walters is a visual artist and writer, born in Malta, grew up in Oxford, currently living in London. Her other work can be seen at www.vanessawalters.xyz. Her writing has been published in Detritus Journal and Slippage Lit and forthcoming Anthropocene. She is also (secretly) the co-editor of Seiren.