the book of the indian (tea)

 

1 — about the indian and tea
 

the indian likes to drink tea.
he watches the infusion, the reds of rooibos swirling like blood in his mug.
he likes the way steeped heat warms his mouth, his hands, his fingertips.
(an ancient turned-earth smell clings to damp crushed leaves)
he savors the taste of life that lingers after the swallow.
he closes his eyes when he drinks.

 

2 — more about the indian and tea
 

the indian closes his eyes when he drinks.
he sees a moon-sized sun, an unknown flat horizon.
he sees fantastic animals and cardboard cutout trees.
he forgets he is just an old indian drinking tea in a cold river town.
he sips the last drop of sediment (of earth) and he remembers, he cools.
he rinses the mug with his eyes open, surrendering bitterness like a sacrifice.

 

 

inspired by Marvin Bell’s “dead man” poems

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