a poem: earl grey

Earl grey tea has a
great meaning to me
i first had it when i was a teenager,
sitting on the old, rough blue couch with the small
embroidered orange triangles,
reading On Langauge by Mario Pei,
that bastard, so in love with language
he infected me with it for years,
anyway i was sitting out with my mom,
which was unusual since i almost always
stayed in
my room alone
and i had bought this tea
because i wanted to be cs lewis, i think,
or something so i wanted tea
but i was a luzianne kid, raised by
an army brat mom from florida and a
dad from lousiana who had sweet tea in his
veins from his momma, so we only had luzianne
and sometimes lipton but lipton was bad quality
we knew.
earl grey was exotic, poor little me,
thinking it was exotic, i laugh now but
it was an eye-opening experience
only on my tongue so what do we call that?
tongue opening? awakening? lifting soaring lilting
the bitterness making my mouth pucker so slightly
the orange so slick and sweet, just a hint,
and the smell, like old books, or maybe that was just Pei
sneaking in again, the old bastard,
and i fell in love with two things, that night sitting
in the old blue couch
languages and tea,
and my mind was on fire from both.



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