TEA

By Mary Everitt

Pale yellow jasmine
Cracked white porcelain pot
With an oily dark stain around the rubber covered spout
Om, my elderly landlord offers his wordless morning welcome.
Endless cups of weak, bitter, floral water.
Orange, sweet, earthy and sour
Iced with sugar and lime
Sucked down with morning noodles
Assam, steeped dark with half and half
Forgotten in corners, on books, tabletops
Reheated endlessly
Housemate who taught me through his reverent waiting
For the first morning cup
Where matcha ceremony held beloved memory
Of a distant childhood, years and oceans away.
Chasen and bowl adorning the designated counter
Ritual, pleasure, hospitality
connecting past and present

an apartment
full of mismatched love-attached mugs
individual tea bags
in this individualist land
of single servings

hands spoon convex warmth
steam curls over closed eyelids
lulling the senses into quiet attention
soothing the spirit into expectant adoration
stirring the mind into thoughts that swirl into mist and focus on
pictures, questions, places
why is this the first question across language and culture?
often just a wordless pour.
Why is this the instinctual comfort?
In waiting
In between
As a stranger
In beginning
As the night grows late
Maybe
Its what you can control
Its love
Its hospitality
Its medicine
Its tradition
Its tea.


Mary Everitt writes from the intersections of what she feels, believes, and sees. She writes about beauty and brokenness, the insides and the outsides of the spaces she exists in. Find her on Instagram or on her website.

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