Of Former Lovers

He kissed the tip of my tongue at sunrise, and I tasted gen: I would never be me without him in my mouth; my heartbeats would fade and die without him filling my veins. I was addicted to his scent, to his fluid skin, to the jolt he shot into my mind. Forever yours, I thought… But by noontime, his breath soured my day. I still wanted him. Thought, I need you… And I was wrong; for under moonlight, my tongue kissed a new lover. I am me.

a tree gone liquid,
in me this dark and shining—
my coffee-less tongue.

Process Note – After a series of stomach problems, I was advised to gradually reduce my intake of coffee… until I had to stop drinking it all together. A couple of days ago, my doctor said that it was safe to go back to a cup or two a day. I brewed my first pot grinning like a mirth-filled maniac… then I sipped the coffee… just to have my tongue tell me that we no longer care for its taste. Now I go to bed with tea, and wake up to tea. And love it like that.

Gen – I never used the word “gen” before today, so I wanted to share its meaning: information; find out about.

for the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads (Sunday’s Mini-Challenge: Judith Wright). Grace, the challenger, says Judith Wright started losing her hearing in her 20s. My poem was inspired by Wright’s “Five Senses”; the middle line of the haiku section of my haibun, “in me this dark and shining”, is a direct quote.

linked to Poets United, Poetry Pantry 264

Abstract Love“Abstract Love”

59 thoughts on “Of Former Lovers

  1. What a sexy goodbye! I, too, am a tea drinker. Never acquired the taste for coffee. I love Trader Joe’s Irish Black tea with Bailey’s Original Coffee Creamer in it. Too hot to drink that now, so it is Luzianne Decaf Iced tea for me.

  2. I am not a lover of coffee, but of tea also ~ Lovely haibun and I like the insertion of Judith’s line ~ Thanks for the note about gen – something new for me ~

    Thanks for being inspired by Judith’s poems Magaly ~ Happy Sunday ~

    • I used to be. I mean, a HUGE coffee lover. I think I’m still in shock that I don’t like it all that much on it’s on (I suspect I’ll continue to enjoy the taste in ice cream).

      No, thank you for Judith!

  3. I like the way you wrote of coffee as a lover / beloved. Sometimes we do end up craving what is not good for us though — and what we crave can sour our health. Good that you were able to change to tea and enjoy it much the same. I really like how you wrote this poem!

  4. it takes to adjust our taste buds. funny but i was trying to cut my cola intake during weekdays and weekends i thought i crave for it but i was not that excited anymore.

    great metaphor, Magaly

  5. Oh this works so well in many ways and I was so surprised with your explanation as I would never have guessed….I too have had to give up coffee from time to time, but have always gone back…so addicted…although I do drink tea too!

    • I can’t figure out why it doesn’t taste good anymore. Maybe it’s because I reduced my general sugar intake, and when I prepared it I put the same amount of sugar I used to… who knows. I will just appreciate the miracle and let it be, lol!

  6. This is wonderful. What a fun way to express your meaning –
    I have used ken before (Scottish word) but never heard of gen. It looks like it the same thing though.

  7. A very English call being tea-lovers. It conforms to certain ceremonial norms and conventions in English Chinese and Japanese culture. You’re in good company Magaly!


  8. I cannot have caffeine so I now drink mostly tea as it comes in different flavors and I find it relaxes me. Tea is therapeutic. So, I say enjoy your new lover.

  9. Ha. Very clever–you had me fooled there at the beginning, a smile. I had to give up coffee years ago just because it started giving me terrible head-aches at the first sip, so for many years drink super strong tea–often made with two bags–I can have a little coffee now without the head-ache–so there is hope!

    Cute poem! And Congrats on the will power! k .

  10. Coffee is one of my crushes, so even though I drink lemon tea in the evenings, I have to confess, the idea of breaking up with coffee is very sad to me. I’m glad you’ve moved on to a new beverage relationship if it makes your tummy troubles easier though. 🙂 And the poetry is tea-rrific!! 😀 (Sorry, I don’t think I’ve indulged in sufficient punning lately, so I couldn’t help myself! 😉 )

    • It was sad (and rather frustrating) in the beginning. And although I didn’t crave it much, I always thought about the day when I would be able to drink coffee again… Now, I’m just a bit surprised.

      Pun away! 😀

  11. I cannot imagine changing lovers like that and liking it! Nor do I wish to give up my addiction to the dark, exciting kiss of coffee. But I’m glad that other insipid thing works for you, since it’s better for you – and I adore the way you have written about all this. 🙂

  12. I think it is the English in me that has made me a tea drinker from birth. i do take coffee but it does not agree with me.
    I like your process notes and the POV you chose to explore this love now lost.

    • Coffee was such a huge part of my life for so long that it was like family. Or like a favorite pillow without which is very difficult to sleep. Giving it up was a strange thing… Writing about it feels good.

  13. Perhaps some love turns sour – just like the taste of coffee..by noontime, his breath soured my day..such a pivotal line which can be read in many ways…magic!

  14. Wonderful writing, lovely Magaly. ♥

    I love the taste of coffee and Earl Grey tea, but am caffeine sensitive, so only ever drink decaf. I remember drinking an iced coffee one afternoon, and I was wide awake for 36 hours, with crazy anxiety.

    Growing up, my friends and I used the word ‘gen’ often, but I always thought it was a slang word for ‘gossip’ and that we were being super cool and rebellious when we used it. 😀

  15. I hadn’t had a drop of coffee for 14 months because it makes me swell, but Ms GK and I went to a lovely French Bakery that we found because they are also at our favorite “Growers Market” on Saturday mornings bright and early, and we had to wait for her favorite sourdough bread to come out of the oven and cool. So she and I split a croissant and ordered coffee, sat to wait for the yummy bread. Oh I loved the coffee during the drinking of it but later when my feet were the size of small dogs………I remembered that doing something for the sake of cool is stupid and shameful. I was pressured into going along with the “in crowd” as GK put it and suffered the consequences. NO more for me……………..ever.

  16. I still enjoy coffee from time to time, but I know I have to watch it or I feel like a strung out junkie. It’s tough, but remembering what healthy feels like makes limiting it bearable.

  17. Oh, honey, I had to “break up” with coffee for a couple of months this year, and it was hell. It is a romantic pairing, the tongue and one’s favorite vice, isn’t it? You painted that waltz tenderly here. Once you are over a lover, it’s a done deal!! Amy

    • Relationships are wonderful while they are wonderful, often terrible when they are ending, but just a memory once they are done… Lucky people, can turn those memory into something good and move on. I’m moving on.

  18. With a goodby like that, coffee hopes you break up more often. What is your favorite tea? I’ve found drinking fresh ginger tea and eliminating coffee goes a long way in my own pain management as well as eating mostly fruits and veggies and limiting my meat and dairy intake. I won’t lie, though, I like a nice thick piece of meat on occasion. 😉

    • I’ve been delighting in ginger, camomile, star anise (with the occasional citrus leaf–I can’t have the fresh leaves all the time, since my plants are still rather young.

      I’ve given up processed food entirely, other than coconut milk (I don’t always have time to milk my own fresh coconuts *giggles*). Fish, shrimp and veggies seen to agree with me. Although, I’ve had to give up certain veggies, too.

      Meat, ice cream, and cheese… once a year. 😀

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