Nearly dawn, I’m watching the trees
march out of night, surround again
this house; the dogs
twitch in final dreams; the stove —
this orange, unsteady heat and black iron box
breathes warm mirage into the cold,
into the sky; the yellow enamel teapot
does the same inside.
The tea leaves in their white paper pouch
in their skyblue mug — I’ve brewed thousands of cups
like this: wood house, wood fire, the woods
leaning out of the night, of their stubborn life,
the taste of leaves
hot on my tongue.