Tea

Thunderstorms, he said,
should be endured at home,
with a cup of tea.

Perhaps a crisp chamomile,
or a cool mint,
or an arduous green.

He smoothed his tie,
the shade of passing autumn,
as he said this.

His breath heavy with decay,
the decay of marrow and being,
his words hot and hovering, like steam.

I brewed several,
teas strong and muddy and sweet,
poured into little cups of ivory.

When they cracked,
the tea would bleed,
like the spill of desperate words on a parchment.

The scent assailing, unforgiving, and penetrating,
mixing with his breath on my skin,
punishing me.

I watched the benign liquid shapes,
as they imploded against the window,
trying to reach their kin leaking slowly down my broken cheek.

Thunderstorms, he said,
should be endured at home,
with a cup of tea.

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