rye bread, mint tea

Come, I will offer you crumbs of sour bread.
Hold them
on your tongue;
your mouth fills.

How different the emptiness that fills your belly,
the emptiness in my heart
when you are not here.

After, we will drink mint together
or boiled water on ginger,
for heat
for spice
for the sweetest spark in your eye.

Harold takes tea

Harold carefully placed his verdant fusion of organic peppermint, spearmint and fieldmint back in the centre of its saucer. He twisted the cup slightly. It was what he had ordered, what it had said on the list of specialty teas: “a verdant fusion of organic peppermint, spearmint and fieldmint”. But there was a problem; a simple, yet potentially insurmountable problem. Harold’s lips narrowed. The fusion was not sufficiently minty. He would have to send it back and quietly complain. Verdancy had to be a good thing, did it not? And organic was the new way of the world. But. But. Although Harold liked fusions, and infusions, especially flavoured with a number of varieties of mint, the mintiness had to be the foundation, the keystone of their flavour. It had to be the essence, the driving fresh green force within the liquid. Without mint, what is there?

He raised an eyebrow to summon someone’s assistance, but then noticed, with horror, that the waiter was chewing. Gum, probably. This would not, could not, end well. He swiftly, yet discreetly, lowered his eyebrow and hurried away from the table, leaving too large a tip and his infusion undrunk.