A Pot of Tea
Loose leaves in a metal ball Or men in a shark cage steeping, Ideas stain the limpid mind Even while it’s sleeping: Ginseng or the scent of lymph Or consequences queasing Into wide awareness, whence, Like an engine seizing Society remits a shudder Showing it has feeling, And the divers all have shaving cuts And the future’s in Darjeeling— Blind, the brain stem bumps the bars Of the shark cage, meanwhile, feeding, And the tea ball’s cracked, its leaves cast To catastrophic reading: Ideas are too dangerous. My love adjusts an earring. I take her in my arms again And think of Hermann Göring, And all liquidities in which A stain attracts an eating, And of my country’s changing heart, And hell, where the blood is sleeting.
From The One-Strand River by Richard Kenney. Copyright © 2008 by Richard Kenney. Reprinted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf. All rights reserved.