the black will bite the back of my throat
in the spot which holds the beginnings
of the universal sob.
But with milk
swirling upon entry, the blackness fades
one tint at a time to a taupe
that coddles like her milk,
cauterizing the soar sad throat
carrying comfort time and time again
to that deep darkness within.
The sugar tastes of breakfast cookies shaped like an “S,”
feasted upon in my grandmother’s nest,
now tasting even sweeter
in this moment between earth and ether:
the kettle whistle blowing,
the sound of three mugs’ emptiness disappearing,
and with milk and sugar, all vacuums dissolving,
my lips slowly sipping the steeping sap,
suckling at the teat of warmth and comfort and love.
Every cup of tea I drink is my mother and my grandmother.
"Black Tea with Milk and Sugar" was first published in Miller's Pond Poetry Magazine. Fall 2014. Online. http://www.millerspondpoetry.com/index.php/issues/web_editions1