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Chamomile Tea

The shadows framing the wall
and slanting on the ceiling
reveal more than I can see
with all their revealing.

The branches of the trees
are stark, crisp, inviting me
to reach out, hold on, ride
like a trapeze artist, swing.

This is my first midnight
movie in this intimate
theater, trying to sleep
on a freshly-poured concrete

grey couch above the streets
of Seattle while she breathes
in her bed of feathers
in stark relief in the next room.

In this tree house of an apartment
the outside rushes in like birds
from all the windows squaring
this room. These things I am seeing

here this night no one ever sees.
Last week on the same couch,
she saturated me with chamomile tea
and told me that she loved me.

Plain. Simple. In one honey breath.
It was hard to swallow, to drink in
the nature of whatever those words
were revealing as she sat underneath

the same patch of wall and ceiling
where I should be sleeping now.
Years from tonight, I will remember
her leaning back on the couch,

too much heavy lifting from months
before and before I started to know
her. She will not want me
to document it all in poems.

With crooked lines I will try
to break open the heart of her.

—Sandra Yannone

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