the waters raged
huge mountains
rise from slopping
to slapping to hurling
crashing breasts

self-satisfied I poured
gentle fragrant oils
to damp down to quell
but oils can burn
you cannot swim

an inferno
I blanketed
cut off oxygen
drew it back
from the smoulders

detergent-drenched it
the waters are calm now
but a slick floats
a gooey emulsion
licked to the pot’s edge

torrent subsided
but don’t drink
skim it first
purify the surface
the undercurrent too

make it seem clean
fresh and clear
as if nothing died
as if eyelids weren’t singed
nothing to see here

examine the rim closely
where a tide mark persists
debris from the collision
two hurricanes in a teacup
bitter and not sweet


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