That Christmas I gave you an aphotic
steel teapot and you taught me
how to make chai.
I filled the gaping vessel’s mouth with tap water
while you peeled slices of unwashed
ginger root. Two spoons
of Taj Mahal ground tea, a mouthful
Cardamom pods, cracked with your crooked teeth
and pried open with fingernails, tossed
helpless in the boil. Milk
an opaque white stream
soothing dark spiced water.
The sweetness we could never agree on.
My slow honey, your raw
sugar. That Christmas you gave me words wrapped
in a lilting accent and I taught you
how to say I love you.
I opened my mouth to take you in
while you peeled away clothes from the night
before to spoon,
together, on the mattress.
You bit my shoulder, red fissures from teeth
while I pulled your frenzied hair. Lost together
in the cheap red sheets,
I never came last.
And the sweetness
we could never agree on.
Jessica Tyner is originally from Oregon, USA, a member of the Cherokee Nation, and has been a writer and editor for ten years. Currently, she is a copy writer for Word Jones, a travel writer with Mucha Costa Rica, a writer for TripFab, a copy editor at the London-based Flaneur Arts Journal, and a contributing editor at New York’s Thalo Magazine. She has recently published short fiction in India’s Out of Print Magazine, and poetry in Slow Trains Literary Journal, Straylight Magazine, Solo Press, and Glint Literary Journal. She lives in San José, Costa Rica.
Copyright © 2012 by Jessica Tyner