They’re a vivid, corporeal crimson.
Rich, red as fresh blood spilt in
Himalayan streets, finger-thick,
clawed in a half moon. The depth
of cherries in colour, ripe red and
fiery though huddled in retreat.

Oak green stalks prick some of
them, twisting wisps of fine stick
something to tie them with. They
lie in a still brace of vividness,
almost asleep, barely touching.
I poke them gingerly, unsure.

Bring them to my nostrils, breathe
in carefully, like they might bite me.
The scent is feint, barely discernible
over the lingering ghost of thyme
in the kitchen. They feel waxy
to my skin; not unpleasantly so.

Each half dozen is unkempt;
each individual unique to its partners.
Flaming snowflakes, moulded,
twisted into lengths. Cool. They
change daily. These chillis are,
it crosses my mind, almost me.



   John Gimblett

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