In my right hand, a monsoon to rain the year away / In my left, a poem to wash yourself clean.
There is a rule we know of time—
at some point, with enough air, a god enters
the blade of camellia, the husk of rice
leavening like memory on lips.
There is a practice we know of wisdom,
a good cup of afternoon tea begins
with a morning spent in the meadow
picking the tops for the tisanes,
letting patience steep in sun, stain in water,
letting a kite of steam scald your teeth but still
suckling beside a mooncake
or wood ear mushrooms.
Somehow my childhood ended up filled
with revelations like these, waiting on a clean desk,
small enough to fit in young palm, finger to finger and biding the hour—
I wish there were more ways to pen a voice:
Here, hojicha for the lash throat,
Here, jiuniang for the sore heart.
In my right hand, a monsoon to rain the year away
In my left, a poem to wash yourself clean.
Like sap congeals against the cold,
like ashes shift and smear—
this remembrance of her