She was Never Able to Drink Tea

(after N. Wang’s ‘She Never Drinks Her Tea’)

Her house is personal in a way her Father
freeloads upon, paying rent by accusations.
She cannot hear her own footsteps over the
din, being unwelcome in her own house is
a swelling of feet, lights that refuse to work,
lao hua* glasses on a 20/20 past, one where
the tidiest living room has a worn-out tile
with edges that she cannot vacuum out,
where her calloused feet steps on blame
where a divorce must be a woman’s fault.
A headache upon trigger-happy migranes,
triggered by happy things from chocolate to ice.
For which, she was always brewing drinks
that were never her cup of tea. Drinks scalding
like a hot shower routine where she boils soap.
He was the pot that called her a black kettle;
The only black she sees is when sleeping it off,
dozing in bed with a Korean soap on an iPad
that distracts a scalding mouth, since tea
keeps her calm and awake in a nightmare.


*lao hua (“老花” in mandarin Chinese): Presbyopia

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