I think of those who sat here before me,
Drinking overpriced tea in an overpriced seat;
Trying not to feel miffed at £2.20 for a teabag and hot water,
But this frivolous life is one that is growing on me,
The art of not caring becomes all too natural
As I sit by the door and think about leaving
But not leaving.
My teabag bursts as I place my mug on the table,
Watching flurries of tea leaves shimmer to the surface of the tea
Floating, they float like memories on the surface of my skin,
Uneven. And now I am trying to drink tea
Avoiding toothpaste pot pourri,
Wondering how it ended up this way,
Needing a strainer but not asking for one…
A cute barista who can’t hear me over the music,
Teenage girls who can’t see me over their sugary milkshakes
And I can’t find myself in the hum.

I wipe tea leaves from my lips,
Try not to focus on anyone too long
For fear of seeming too bizarre,
Even with the dog-tag choker
And I focus instead on the window,
The sun breaking the cold morning
And the shadows coming towards me.

by Milaina Penzer

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