Karen An-hwei Lee

The London Magazine - - NEWS -

On the Pol­i­tics and Poet­ics of Dar­jeel­ing

No milk or lemon, love black

tea from Am­man, In­dia. At sea-

level, ragged mon­soons

ghost in­land, mil­len­nium

where dar­jeel­ing es­tates

ter­race the hills with wages.

Ir­ish tea is brisk, maltier

than English with­out the gold

mus­ca­tel of other black teas.

De­colo­nial in taste, I sip

as the Am­man would, sans sugar.

Du­al­ity – chai or cha.

In Gaelic, I say cu­pan tae,

one poly­glot tongu­ing

our frag­ile global for­tunes.

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