Tea for Jelena by Matthew Landrum


On foggy morning when the world recedes and leaves you
islanded, wake to quiet in the house and stand at the window,

rubbing sleep from your eyes, and imagine the mountains
and forests have dissolved, folded

into banks of clouds, that the sea also
has gone. Even the future could be

elided, with all its questions and possibilities, gain
and gloss, and you left with an endless present – this kitchen,

hardwood cool beneath your bare feet, your breath misting the pane
and the mists beyond. Let future tensing and faith in visible

things give way to pressing blankness, an end without world.
Pour tea. Be anchored by a mug, the ceramic warm

and heavy in your hands. Everything has been reduced
to steam, breath, fog.



Matthew Landrum‘s poems and translations have recently appeared in Memoir Journal, Salamander, and Nimrod. He holds an MFA from Bennington College.