At gate C22 in the Portland airport
a man in a broad-band leather hat kissed
a woman arriving from Orange County.
They kissed and kissed and kissed. Long after
the other passengers clicked the handles of their carry-ons
and wheeled briskly toward short-term parking,
the couple stood there, arms wrapped around each other
like he'd just staggered off the boat at Ellis Island,
like she'd been released at last from ICU, snapped
out of a coma, survived bone cancer, made it down
from Annapurna in only the clothes she was wearing.
Neither of them was young. His beard was gray.
She carried a few extra pounds you could imagine
her saying she had to lose. But they kissed lavish
kisses like the ocean in the early morning,
the way it gathers and swells, sucking
each rock under, swallowing it
again and again. We were all watching —
passengers waiting for the delayed flight
to San Jose, the stewardesses, the pilots,
the aproned woman icing Cinnabons, the man selling
sunglasses. We couldn't look away. We could
taste the kisses crushed in our mouths.
But the best part was his face. When he drew back
and looked at her, his smile soft with wonder, almost
as though he were a mother still open from giving birth,
as your mother must have looked at you, no matter
what happened after — if she beat you or left you or
you're lonely now — you once lay there, the vernix
not yet wiped off, and someone gazed at you
as if you were the first sunrise seen from the Earth.
The whole wing of the airport hushed,
all of us trying to slip into that woman's middle-aged body,
her plaid Bermuda shorts, sleeveless blouse, glasses,
little gold hoop earrings, tilting our heads up.
by Ellen Bass from The Human Line
A heavy blanket of soft fog on the hills this morning. A beautiful poem. And a steaming mug of English Breakfast Tea latte. After years of getting them at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf I decided just yesterday to make one at home. Inspiration can simmer for years you know. Seeing this giant plaid box of EBT at Trader Joes had me scooting around the kitchen in my apron.
Oh dear. I think it would not be at all tooting my own horn to say MY EBTL is far superior to anything CB&TL ever dreamed of creating. Here are the cast of characters: tea, milk, Torani vanilla syrup. Here are the directions: steep, steam, pour, stir, sip. In that order.
When it's foggy and you have to turn your heater on for a few minutes to get the chill out of the air there's really no need to leave the house. May as well stay home and keep dipping my old Speedball pen nib in the ink and scribbling away on more pages.