“tealeaves” by Heidi Seaborn
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.
Heidi Seaborn starting writing poetry in 2016. Since then her work has appeared in over 40 journals and anthologies, including Nimrod International Journal (2017 Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry semi-finalist), The New Guard (2017 Knightville Prize semi-finalist), Penn Review, Timberline, Gravel (Best of Net nominee), American Journal of Poetry, and as the political pamphlet, Body Politic (Mount Analogue Press), on a Seattle bus, and in her forthcoming chapbook, Finding My Way Home (Finishing Line Press). She is on the editorial staff of The Adroit Journal and lives in Seattle.
Photo Credit: Staff