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When I say you’re lacedwith bitterness, I mean itas a compliment,your distaste of formalitya strain of ruggednessin a manner thatmight otherwise cloy.This is why we salticing. There’s somegood in a hintof rain—the metallicsmell, the sky threadedwith grey. The perfectday is a myth. So you’refrank, your franknesssincere. I never had topour you tea: Until weknow what to dowith someone, whatto make of them,we serve them tea—cupful after cupful,the dregs pilinglike silt. This is whatmy mother taught me.What better usefor the sugar bowl?I still measure guestsin granules, in the paceof their sipping. Youask all the gritty questions. [End Page 113]

Brianna Noll

Brianna Noll is a PhD candidate in the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and she is poetry editor of The Account: A Journal of Poetry, Prose, and Thought. Her poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review Online, Salt Hill, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and The Missouri Review.



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