Katie Ciszek

the kettle cries: Katie Ciszek

the kettle cries

the kettle cries and out the window
the sky looks nauseous, white in the face,
then green and trying to keep it all down

when I want to be held and there’s no one
around, I make a cup of ginger tea
and tell myself a story

mom texts something about a tornado warning
and I know this is her way to say “I love you”
and why can’t that be enough

what are the stories that made me? tales of
banishment, separation from earth god each other,
a home in the clouds to find only after all… this

I suck on the tea bag, it tastes like sunlight
and earth; the ginger bites behind my cheeks,
the air now sharp and clean in my nose

maybe, if a story is very good,
it will reach back through time
and remake who I am today

the sky is now blotchy, grey, ready to burst;
clouds, like hands, reaching for the earth;
wind making music out of creaky old homes

the glass is cool on my forehead; I close my
eyes to listen and the wind is almost a teakettle;
I hold the mug with both hands like a prayer

maybe, if the tea is hot
and the ginger, strong,
this warmth is company enough

kc lives in Washington, DC, where they spend their most cherished time working and volunteering for theaters, urban gardens, and other arts/educational spaces. They believe in the power of poetry, devised theater, and collaborative writing as tools for community building.