Chantelle Mitchell responds to the zine, “Tea Meditation” (self-published, 2021) by Neta Bomani and Cy X

You ask how it feels to be close to another being. 

You ask how it feels to be close to another being.

In meditation I am guided to abandon all that isn’t in this room with me now. But all things are in my body. Now is then. I am always twenty bodies.

Don’t we all pray over our teacups? Don’t all our glasses fog up when we swallow?

These dried plants both dead and alive at once. I hold two times in my mouth. My mouth in two times, my body in two. I am always in the body that is in my tiny Vegas townhouse when I am younger and not allowed to wear perfume that doesn’t smell like bubble-gum-cotton-candy. My hands that sneak teabags from the kitchen, run them under the hot faucet in the bathroom (door locked) and dab my wrists as my mother does. Convinced I am floral and cinnamon. Bedroom decorated with fake flowers from the craft shop. Those plastic roses, those paper daisies.

[Image description: A drawing of a pink/magenta hibiscus. Some lines on the outer edges of the petals are misaligned with the body of the flower; they break away from the whole like pixels falling out of place on a screen. The background is covered in watercolor strokes of dusty pink. Blocks of typed text surround the flower, and traces of handwritten words are faded behind the text.]

— Chantelle Mitchell

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