Decaying Tea

by Ann Neilson

Skeletal fingers, lithe, aged,
stir evaporated tea
around and around, substituting a misplaced spoon,
stirring up ashes routinely.
Would you care for more, I inquire,
pouring from my rusty cup into yours
lost memories.
Chamomile tastes of happiness,
chai is kind,
and jasmine reminds us both of a time when
life was worth living for. 
I convince you you are drinking from a fountain
of youthful juices,
but your sunken sockets are blind,
and little do you realize
each day you are drinking your life away.
Life is very long,
this Mr. Eliot knew far too well,
but laying in these god-forsaken plots of dirt
makes the afterlife
seem longer.

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