Percolation - Lorrie Ness

Well water pilfers minerals from the land —
flavors our coffee with calcium and buttered loam.

Every snowfall melting, every apple rotting into the ground,
each body scattered below the tree

is filtered by ninety feet of earth and one ruffled sheet
of tissue paper. The aroma is nutty,

our cups brim between our palms. Warm
with the color of walnut bark scorched by a summer bolt.

As we drink it down, daylight is siphoned below the rim
where it mixes with the coffee. The liquid lightens

to chestnut, then acorn, then taupe.
The interior glaze is crackled and stained —

muddy channels form between flecks of enamel.
We swirl our spoons,

dredge up sediment from generations of brews.
They are all gathered here

as we swallow pebble and tree, switchgrass, and sky.
As we drink of fallen fruits and fallen hands.

Lorrie Ness enjoys writing, photography and any activity that involves getting dirt under her nails. When she’s not hiking or messing around in the garden, she’s working as a psychologist, spending time with her family and relaxing with her menagerie of pets. She was raised in a rural corner of Indiana and now lives in Virginia, close to the Shenandoah Mountains.