Let me tell you now about coffee. It must be black–so black you can hear the indios bravos clamoring against the injustice of the compradores. And as well so, so sweet (from the brown-caked sticky moscovado the haciendero’s suffering water-buffalo made so that they could grow fat on the profits)–so sweet ,and the sin of it would make the devil wait in anticipation for the shooting to start. But no cream! No, for the beast’s a bull and we’d not hear of it! No! It must be as dark as the hearts of those who oppress us–the innocent–and would plunge it down quickly–ah!–plunge it down so the heat of hell in all its bittersweet oppression explodes past our tongues and throats and greets the devil within all of us–to give us the courage and drown our sorrows and suffering from oppression.
They spoke malevolence–darker red and darkly glowing–eyes that sparked of anger moved to hate. And as they spoke I realized worse than old fears from force. The bright point days that danced had passed long ago–(those days were the best days)–and now–imperceptibly passed from dull to black and darker still–and now–they spoke of the ending of things; the destruction inevitable, the final cracking of earth, raining fire–the final failure of trust that began the end. I saw them as if for the first time, now with truth–and nothing more could be done to turn them back.
And there it was–yes–there it was. Not for those words I first read – not for those words alone (though those were as honey caught on steel)–and not merely for apparition, for I’d given to having it as granted from the depths.
I had already loved you by the morning–that first quiet morning after the storm had swept us to each other and we knew–and not for the words and banter alone, but we knew (and it was the honey of those words that made the brew in a steel cup we drank as we drank each other in.) And not for mere delightful appearance–and there it was–yes–there it was–ease as ease could be for who would test such a new thing? It had by then been tempered.
For this is the strange part–the first morning that we had loved was the first morning that we had fought. How strange love is. How strange. Strange that it can express fire and ice as both and yet be unchanged. It is the honey that sweetens the draught and poisons the infant–and it is this that created us. How strange love is that it can this way express; as sharp as cold steel and warmly glowing fresh from the forge.
I knew then that morning that this was true and tempered for it had been tested and cut before it was plunged again and re-wrought. And then the honey once more–we plunged the hot steel into it and it smelt–of strangeness and wonder that it could be like the aroma of fresh baking on stone that has not left us since.