No milk or lemon,
——love black

tea from Amman,
——India. At sea-

level, ragged

ghost inland,

where darjeeling

terrace the hills
——with wages.

Irish tea
——is brisk, maltier

than English
——without the gold

muscatel of other
——black teas.

——in taste, I sip

as the Amman
——would, sans sugar.

Duality –
——chai or cha.

In Gaelic, I say
——cupan tae,

one polyglot

our fragile
——global fortunes.

Karen An-hwei Lee is the author of Phyla of Joy (Tupelo 2012), Ardor (Tupelo 2008) and In Medias Res (Sarabande 2004). Lee also wrote two chapbooks, God’s One Hundred Promises (Swan Scythe 2002) and What the Sea Earns for a Living (Quaci Press 2014). Her book of literary criticism, Anglophone Literatures in the Asian Diaspora: Literary Transnationalism and Translingual Migrations (Cambria 2013), was selected for the Cambria Sinophone World Series, published in New York and London.  Currently, she serves in the university administration at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California. Lee is a voting member of the National Book Critics Circle. 

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