Out of an ordinary pot of tea
The exotic will pour and will reveal —
From vapor and rind, ephemera and peel —
A taste of the ethereal amid the lees.
Swirl the cloudy brew and tip it up;
The sediments of wounds long healed,
Through Time’s infusion steeped and congealed,
Settle in the bottom of the cup.
As amber beads release the grains they sealed,
Submission to fire will clarify the stream;
Not melting in the heat, a gem sublimes,
Transmuted instantly from stone to steam.
And in far India, ardent in mime,
A slender girl in training for the dance
Prays to achieve such purity of line —
Steeped in a trance —
That she be transformed to Apsaras divine.