How to Write a Poem: Part III

How to Write a Poem

(From Spare Buttons, 2014)

First press your warm palm
against the cool metal faucet
let the water run cold, so cold
it aches, now fill the kettle
watch it boil, first slowly then
rushing up at you in a panic;
when it’s reached the peak
of mumbling like a crowd
pour it over the tea bag
in a mug that reminds you
of a dozen childhood teas –
memories with your mother
and her best friend gossiping
like birds – feel the buoyancy,
push the bag back under,
a gentle drowning then blackness
seeps out reddish brown
three minutes just three
then pour into your warmed cup:
only now, you are ready.


Photo by 五玄土 ORIENTO 王杉 on Unsplash


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