by Laura M Kaminski

I open the top of the river-blue
box, remove a wide flat cube of sugar,
replace the paper cover over all the sweet
remaining gravestones

I pour fine-ground coffee, nearly powder,
into the steel pot, its pouting lip stained
brown from habit, pour fresh water over,
set it on the fire, stand with my hand
wrapped in a handkerchief
upon the handle

I watch the pot until it boils, have learned
despite the warnings and the tales
this is possible, this kind
of waiting.

The sugar cube is solitary at the bottom
of the green chipped stoneware cup. Beside it
on a napkin, three seeds of cardamom
still hidden in their husks
are waiting.

The water heats into small streams
of bubbles, steel releases acid scent, reacts
in ways that smell, at first, like fish
and then like bile, the bitter grit churns
through the liquid

I lift the pot to pour the brew
over the waiting headstone, tilt gently
to pour liquid only, leave
the saturated grounds. I float
the seeds of cardamom
upon the thick brown surface, three
lotus buds cast on the muddy
Ganges, just beginning
to open.

I place it on a small wool mat within
easy reach of your hands. Now you can
wrap your fingers around the warm mug,
welcome your coffee with Domino
sugar. Lick your lips to wet them
before you take a sip. I know
they are dry. I know you’ve been

IMAGE: “Turkish Coffee Poured from Copper Ibrik” by Eaeeae.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Laura M Kaminski is an Associate Editor at Right Hand Pointing, and the author of several poetry collections. You can read more about her poetry at arkofidentity.wordpress.com.