By Austin Shay
“Do you want some tea?”
i look at the steam rising,
as my body sinks into the couch.
The lies surrounded me as the aroma
entangle into my nostrils.
i felt my stomach descend like the tea bag,
its murky water engulfing me,
without meaning, without purpose,
hands trembling, fingers clumsy, as i clutch my cup
it almost slipping from my grasp.
i hope i got it wrong,
because he wouldn’t.
My body disappears,
reducing to nothing, as i slide to the floor
curling up as small as i can, making myself as small as i feel.
His voice is all i can hear,
“Austin, are you okay?”
How can he be so calm, so normal?
The tea in our cup stands still
our love so hydrophobic.
Words are all i can hear, they differ each time,
his voice trembling, as he reaches for mine
his touches accumulating,
i never added up to his aspirations.
“Austin, please say something.”
i open my eye, he is right there
crouched down, brown eyes soft and concerned,
his thumb brushed softly across my cheek,
he leans into me, pressing a kiss on my forehead.
a token, i did not want, a tea i did not choose.
My tears would not stop
As my spoon stirs the tea.
My tears trickle down my cheeks,
bright and sharp in the muffle of hurt
that clouds around me.
What’s wrong? You’re worrying me.”
no words come out, my head just shook
my chest, tight with hurt
throat closes off with choked back sobs
i feel the pain bubbling up and out, in a choked howl
The Kettle, stammering my feelings in the next room
He registers my panicked whimper, as he looks toward the kitchen
as if the Kettle, could give him the indulgence into my heart,
the tea slowly evaporating, leaving residue
i taste, the moment that he realizes
blank stares, are all i receive
he is unable to stop the sobs that rises,
“it didn’t mean anything”
he is not denying it
the smell of him, comes closer
“Just look at me”
My eyes slowly meet his
its not shock marring his features;
i gather my strength
pull the heartbreak inwards and hold it tight
wiping my eyes, breathing slowly
i rise as the steam from the Kettle does
allowing myself to vaporize
The Kettle calling
its company, i prefer
i need to get away
from the sight and sound, and feel of him
But my efforts, are not successful
The door slammed
i know he left
it can only be him, it should be him,
but now i am alone
The Cup, no longer offering me sympathy
i am surrounded, by echoes of fake and pretend
Cups and Kettles, have become my only friends
breathing has become less routine
forcing myself to inhale, fight and fight, until the air goes down
not easily, but my lungs fill again.
Thoughts of improvement, cross my mind
Being better, prettier, more loving,
Add in two sugars instead of one
My cup will be filled once again
Austin Shay is a freshman who is currently studying secondary education with an emphasis in English. From East Brady, PA, he is also a graduate of the Milton Hershey School. He served on the poetry, fiction, and nonfiction reading boards for the 2014-2015 issue.