a national online publication of woodbury university

Heidi Seaborn

tealeaves

The boy chooses loose tealeaves kept in a square yellow tin handed down from an aunt who felt a boy with a tea tin would impress a girl. He scoops leaves into a round sieve on a chain, dangles, then lowers it into the kettle boiling on the hot plate. Its whistle startles the silence. He pours tea gently into a porcelain cup, settles it on the saucer with a grace of lemon. Serves it to the girl who seems unimpressed with the

                  tea tin, porcelain cup
                  violets dancing on its rim
                  moon sliver of lemon

who no longer desires a cup of tea. But it is teatime he thinks, she came to his dorm room for this. He palms the crown of her head, lifts the cup to her closed mouth

                  presses lips open
                  teacup’s hot edge, steam curls
                  moistens her nostrils

Tipping the cup, the tea spills into her mouth. Her eyes tear from the heat perhaps. Later he will not recall their hue, or the tealeaf clinging to her lower lip, or the paleness of her face against the rose flush around her neck as she swallows hard against the burn.

Photo Credit: Staff
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