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.