Watch how the skin peels, dislodges, is sloughed off to reveal inner layers of mottling, so soft and moist. This holds a tint only burning sugar can show, at that instant when it granulates from smooth clay to sheets of beaten copper. This wound, just here on the trunk, has already dried. Even the leaves turn brittle, curl into fingers, and desiccate to crumbs. Examine these differences of duskiness, the scale of halftones that play out among and over us, during our quick dawns and lingering twilights. How many will mingle in crowds, to be tied to others with strings of painted lines? Which of these, when they touch and interweave with us, will you still believe are invisible? Remember, remember the splintering of their scent through the prism of air, the lick of it, the hot taste against the inside of our throats, the hurt on, the hurt of the tongue.
Filigree: Contemporary Black British Poetry, ed. Nii Ayikwei Parkes (Peepal Tree Press, 2018)