Freweini and Akbeh
Elen Gebreab
Flash Fiction Winner

Our husbands deserted us in our sheerest linens and gold and fruits. How you let your fingers keep inside the himbashia, its sugars dotting your bronze skin, deepened now from our earlier walk in the sun by the Water of Red. You pressed your heavily jeweled nipples against mine and brought your blackberry lips to my ear, your slender hand at the base of my neck. You said you wanted to make a love that would make the world stand still. How your breath was a dream of heat against a dream of heat. How your speech was a hot dust bearing ancient wind, rising and colliding into itself. I moaned against your lips, pulled your twining ropes of blackest hair to my mouth to envelope our kisses, this profile of need glossy and thick. Then you sang to me, and with each lilting note you lifted me, increment after mellifluous increment, to climax.

Your eyes, brush fires of onyx, burned into mine. Though you said nothing aloud, I heard your question. And I answered it with each sway and flight.

We were the wives of the gods of gods, the Amhara kings of the Dynasty of Solomon. Ours was an only tribe and no matter the obligations or excess, we carved desire between our legs and laughed at the water we made from each other. Nothing could break our embrace.

First published: February, 2003