The woman in the white cotton wrapper
pours herself a cup of jasmine tea, tries
to cut a slice of bread. Outside, night sky —
a blue neon star newly placed traps her

into thinking about birth — warm water
that reeks of paralysis and a revised
tale of past history. Locked on either side
of the high-rise star mount, red light markers

keep planes from crashing into Bethlehem.
She’s in love with a man who loves a man
who told him good-bye. She holds her hand

flat to sea wind, rubs thumbs along the rim
of her tea cup — translucent bone china
cracked by the last earthquake inside her.

Tia Ballantine

If you've any comments on this poem, Tia Ballantine would be pleased to hear from you.