IT WAS NEVER ABOUT TEA

Ballpoint poems on chewing gum wrappers,
my words a brisk mint dancing on your tongue.
I’d slip them inside your notebooks to unfold
on harder days, writing you into a new world
when your real one would crumble. We used
to make tea and then forget to drink it. Now
I realize it was not forgetfulness, but our own
vernacular. There, in the cooling steam, was
our way of sharing understanding, letting
each other steep in these invented routines.
Effortless vocabulary: flushed faces, sudden
downpours, blurry snapshots of hip bones
painted by morning light, no need to speak.
Superficial nothings, trifles that glimmer;
when the patterns finally broke so did I.

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