hot, iced, honeyed, lemoned,
cupped, capped, mugged, lugged
over hills in burlap sacks, sorted
dried, crushed by the other, dark
skinned Asians alive in
valley tenements twelve to a room
tatami mat unfurled, a red carpet,
red satin slippers padding, tiny steps of
a gashed red mouth in chalky face
ganga smacked junkie, chasing a
dragon, mouth smoke and
lungs sucking Acapulco gold
skirted scabby-kneed girls and teddy bears
with tin cups and teapots, cookies
on a wide platter, munching
biscuits and tea keep growling
from the royal belly of
Anna, 7th Duchess of Bedford, 1
who conceived for afternoon
at four, unknowingly led to
Cop Killer2 and death
for new thought hemlocked
in time numbed from feet
up to a Celestial sky
high on Teaberry, sweet
juicy teeth chewing chi
black, barley, and green
from racing clippers pulled to port
Cutty Sark and Stornaway,3 slant-eye
wabi-sabi inhabits Camellia leaf on bush.
1. Began tradition of afternoon tea in 18th century England.
2. 1992 song by rap artist, Ice T.
3. Mid-19th century clipper ships that competed in races from China to the London Tea Exchange to be the first to action tea cargo at market.