Chai Sia-Black Tea

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Inside the kitchen, 
sitting in front of the boiling water,
My heart is boiling together with stress, and his voice
Cuts my senses with a sharp knife.
“Hurry up,” he said.
Ten more guests.
Chai sia
Chia sabz
My hands shake
Looking for the missing glasses—
Where is the black tea?
Where did I put the green tea?
Before putting glasses on the tray,
I have to count how many shoes are in the hall.
I count one, two, three, plus seven.
As I put the glasses in the tray, I hear laughter and
Wonder what they talk about.
I wish I was among them,
to laugh and see their faces.
I wonder who they are.
Young? Single? Capable?
I don’t know
I don’t know
The glasses shine, candy is ready, and the tea has
The spice of my boiled heart.
I knock at the door with fear—
Tak, Tak, Tak
Tak, Tak, Tak
I hide myself behind the wall and
Put the tray in front of the door.
My feelings turn the color of black tea.
As the door opens, the world smells different.
I see the difference. I, an Afghan woman,
Hidden in the corner of the wall—

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