Each morning she drank her tea and then stamped the used tea bag onto thick creamy paper. She did this day after day, weeks became months, until she had nine tea bags across, thirteen down. When I understood
how long I’d be in bed, I took my time with catalogs, thumbing through pages, folding corners. I decided on sheets, a cheerful sunshine yellow, with Swedish mystery flowers. Backordered, the woman said.
They don’t look like tea bags. On the print above my bed they’re intricate fossils, bird bones set in shifting sand, edges wavy, not quite fixed. You don’t understand, I said. I need those sheets. [End Page 167]
Wendy Mnookin’s most recent book is The Moon Makes Its Own Plea (boa Editions). She received a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (nea) and a book award from the New England Poetry Club. She teaches poetry at Emerson College and at Grub Street, a non-profit writing program in Boston.