I hear the kettle begin its slow deliberate rumble as it approaches its boiling shriek. I consider my choices of tea in the multiple options: black, green, or herbal, bags or loose, hot or cold. The delicious, exotic names tempt the imagination before they please the palate. Lapsang Souchong, Gunpowder Green, Golden Assam, peppermint, Red Zinger.
Today Gunpowder Green wins. When the water boils, I fill the pot to warm it, swish the boiling water about, empty the pot and add the four teaspoons of the dried specks of Gunpowder Green Tea. I set the timer and let it steep. When I return, the tiny specks have grown to large leaves, more reminiscent of spinach than of mundane old tea. The bitterness I soften with two teaspoons of turbinado sugar, the tawny crystals, dissolving in the hot brew. I have a navel orange I have sectioned. I think of the line from the Leonard Cohen song Suzanne. “And she brings you tea and oranges that come all the way from China.”
And now I am not the one who brewed the tea or sectioned the orange. It is my lover. I smell the patchouli, from the incense or is it her perfume? I watch as she pours the tea from the classic Japanese pot into my handleless cup. She offers a section of orange. I savor its sweetness as I gaze into her eyes and move to her lips to kiss them
Our tongues twist and explore these places, these mouths, they know so well. I now kiss the back of her neck , the top vertebra exposed, unbutton her shirt to show the splendid, naked flesh and now place a decade of kisses down her bony, beautiful spine.
And if more should come and if tea time flows to night and the bed becomes our sanctuary and our shrine, then it is a day well spent.