I invite some people for tea time—
the child knocks on my door first.
She tells me she has found holy enlightenment
             in pill bugs she has collected in the backyard;
             she asks me politely for milk to dunk them in.
The teen follows and demands
cream soda, makes sure there are no
guys in the room. She believes in a man-made world,
             not men.
Just-water-please for the poor college student
who lives nestled in books, from which she read
             love is but currency to buy love’s object.
And strong breakfast tea for the grown-up who likes to take it at night
             and endure the twitching of her neurons’ universe.
We all lift our drinks, eyeing the size of each other’s hands
We press the rims of our toy cups onto our feverish lips,
the temperature of our bodies rise along like mist.
The liquids trickle into our throats
             with stories of each other and we are
             so glad we have
             finally properly met.



Ae Hee Lee is South Korean by birth and Peruvian by heart and memory. She is currently an MFA candidate in the creative writing and poetry program of The University of Notre Dame and works as a graduate assistant for the university’s Institute of Latino Studies.