Photo of some loose Rohini Exotic Emperor White tea, fragrant and beautiful

Captured quarters, remnants of tulips,
the butchering of spring merging to monsoons,
imperfect buds, fractured leaves, wrinkled potential.
We collected dampened hay as stubborn bouquets,
astringent potential, unassuming innocence –
another year ear-marked in a forgotten childhood;
revisited to justify, metallic? Metallic honeysuckle.
Lingering echoes, disguising chirps through the hills:
Papaw churning ice cream, freshly gathered honey –
home-made indulgences proclaiming I will never
be a woman until I’ve birthed my own child.
Between the first and second steepings,
whose autonomy must I first sample?

Anesce Dremen is a first generation college student who studied in four cities in China (Xi’an, Beijing, Chengdu, and Suzhou) with the support of the Critical Language Scholarship and the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship. She graduated from Carthage College with degrees in Chinese and English literature. Her bilingual work has been featured in the Midwest Journal of Undergraduate Research, Carthage Vanguard, Xi’an Daily, and Shanghai Poetry Labs. Anesce is often found with a tea cup in hand, traveling between the U.S., China, and India. Her adventures can be followed at @WritersDremen or at

Image is from the Tea in the Ancient World blog article “Gopaldhara / Rohini Exotic White first flush Darjeeling” and used with permission ( source )