Once there, she carefully lifted the teapot.
The leaves held the truth of their future.
It was written in scree, clouds and bones.
What I need, he is saying, is a door to your alphabet.
I'll set us to music, she promises, a song
that will never propose our ruin.
He knew she meant they were ruined.
It was pouring out of the teapot.
He recognized the melody of that song.
It bore no similarities to future.
It was knit by skeins of alphabet.
It was turning to language in his bones.
She refused to discuss bones.
She feared the ways they predicted ruin.
He had already unraveled her alphabet
which had been stored inside their teapot.
She poured consonants into his future,
but they made fog instead of song.
He offered to learn a different song.
He took lessons in bagpipe and bones,
wrote complicated scores for their future.
She made a secret of her faith in ruin,
brewed Earl Grey in the copper teapot.
Lavender and bergamot became her alphabet.
She began to speak in fragrance. An alphabet
redolent of song.
They reconvened around the teapot
a clatter of porcelain and ringing bones.
It bore a slight resemblance to ruin.
It had adopted the fabric of future.
He contemplated a warp of future,
this weaving of scents into alphabet.
She stood accused of ruin,
shuttling through his song.
He played nightly on ivory bones,
while she held her gaze fixed on the teapot.
Carefully, she removed bones from her alphabet.
Cautiously, he plotted a song minus future
Dreaming, there rose from the teapot, the merest aroma of ruin.
Copyright © 2001 Judyth Hill.sfpoetry