“I drink my lukewarm tea, then drop the teacup on the floor. Every so often I drop my teacup like this, on purpose. Their bodies seething with hatred, but without letting that hatred out, sending deep black waves rippling through the air in every direction, the humans begin sweeping up the fragments of my teacup."

— Hiromi Kawakami, from “Mogera Wogura”

She spent weekends taking the train to neighboring suburbs, and one day signed up for a typing class at a local vocational school. She remembers the tea and biscuits that always sat on the counter in the school kitchen and the gentle voice of her teacher, Fay. “I thought I’d forgotten all this,” she says, her face brightening as though she is hearing her own stories for the first time.

— Meghana Mysore

There is this tea
I have sometimes,
Pan Long Ying Hao,
so tightly curled
it looks like tiny roots
gnarled, a greenish-gray.
When it steeps, it opens
the way you woke this morning,
stretching, your hands behind
your head, back arched,
toes pointing, a smile steeped
in ceremony, a celebration,
the reaching of your arms.

— Dale Ritterbusch, Green Tea

I could live like that,
putting my chair by the window,
making my tea,
letting the light in,
trapping the spider in my left hand.
I could pull the one book down and find my place inside the four worlds
and face the wrong way
and live forever by mercy and wisdom.

— Gerald Stern, Saying the First Words

It is fragrant in here,
behind the diamond-shaped
glass, under the white tin
cover, spiraled to finality
(at least for now). Black leaves
nestle curls into curls,
brush against lavender
and pearlescent petals, suspended
until a hand brings water
and vanilla-hungry air.

— L.L. Barkat, Creme Earl Grey

My breath skates
across the glass,
golden scales push off
in electric bright
rifles at dawn.

I sip the flowers.
They flesh
in a way I see
when deposed of you,
— Sandra Marchetti, Tea

But there are so few things
that fit me in this life
I can count them on one hand,
things the spirit can sleep in
because whoever made them
put the things of this world –
vanity, greed, a sentimental wish
to be small again – aside.

I know, I could’ve found my cup
and washed it
and then I’d have my cup.

But it’s not my cup I want.

— Jack Myers, It's not my cup of tea

An embrace painted on a tea bag by Payal Maloo

I quaff my tea and head to the store for candy hearts, chocolate hearts, Reese’s peanut butter hearts, heart-shaped cookies piled with icing—any confectionary way to say I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you.

— Megan Willome,Valentine’s Chai

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