the discovery of tea

once, we boiled in the tortoise shell. 
shed leaves from our heads & dried them
on pavement. all our scabs had names:
oceania & baltica & rodinia. watched each sprout
red & wonderous before our eyes. walked down
to wash in sunlight. here is how you 
clean a wound. here is how water turns amber
from glass. faceup floating in the bath 
losing pieces of our souls down the drain.
living is the process of coming apart or
more precisely, how you make breadcrumbs 
of a body. i clip my finger nails & line
my little smile-moons up on the windowsill.
drinking deeply from the clay mug & passing it
along the line. everything is warmer now.
face full of faultlines. eating with my fingers
in the kitchen dark. who knew we could 
sing with a thumb over our throats. 
a bird at the back of the cupboard
with all the rest of the dried words.
sudden & promising. deepening dark. 
a whole lake turned maroon with waiting.
sugar cubes balanced on noses. i raise my hand
to find it gone to the water too.

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