Amongst cobwebs I sat on her love-seat
while in the kitchen she turned up the heat
on her big pot, setting the tea to boil;
her house was old, dusty, lit with lamp oil
and so dim, illuminating the night
as if reluctant—for fondness, not fright,
and I saw a deck of cards, the Tarot,
arrayed by a book faced with a pharaoh
and I thought what an eccentric lady,
but did not mind, for, however shady,
she had a good figure, like an hourglass
in a red and black dress, and a big ass
that made my loins rigid with excitement
as I waited there, despite the light scent
of metal that lingered in the stale air
and the scurrying I heard here and there.
At length, she returned to the living-room,
holding two cups and a teapot abloom
with a wispy strand of spider-spun steam
that rose to the webbed ceiling, like a dream,
and she a dream herself, smiling at me,
saying, “Oh, you must try my homemade tea.”
Before I could speak, she turned about-face
and set the cups down on the mantelplace
above which were photos, old and faded,
black and white, the people grim and jaded.
She was old-fashioned like them, yet she smiled
and I liked her hair, like a beehive piled
atop her head, and the webbed jewelry
which should we soon get to tomfoolery
I would have liked her to keep on, just so,
as well as her black stockings, thigh to toe,
whereas all else would be shed, as a husk,
while entangled from dusk to dawn to dusk.
“I’m a witch,” she said with a mocking tone,
handing me my cup, pewter white as bone.
I said, “You don’t seem like a witch to me,”
for she was young, graceful and quite pretty.
“But I am,” she said, sitting herself down
right beside me and smirking at my frown.
“You see, I have used my cauldron to brew
this especial spider tea just for you.”
“Spider tea?” I said, looking at the cup,
the fragrant steam like phantoms rising up.
“Indeed,” she said, not at all like a crone.
“It is quite tasty when one’s all alone
and cold in the long winter months to come—
just as good as any brandy or rum
or hot cider or bourbon you might drink
to help you to, and also not to, think.
I said, “But what is it really made of?”
She smiled and said, “A black widow’s love
and the aloofness of a fiddleback
all smashed together, pressed in a small pack
and their eggs, too, along with their cocoons,
aged in a dank cellar for many moons
and steeped in my cauldron, or my teapot
if you will, until it is nice and hot
to bring about the best acridity.
I noted, then, the tea’s acidity
and remarked upon it, to which she said
“Quite. The venom gives a kick to the head
which invigorates the intrepid blood
to swell and flow like a river in flood.
Not many men may stomach Spider Tea,
nor many men who may satisfy me.”
“I can handle it,” I said, sipping more
as I felt sweat drip from every pore.
I grinned and said, “I’ve had lots of rotgut,
from white dog to hooch, no drink ever cut
because a real man has a lead belly
and doesn’t have insides made of jelly.”
“Oh, you big boy,” she said, licking her lips
to which I grinned more, taking a few sips.
“Big in lots of ways,” I said, leaning in,
my hand slipping up her arm and down again,
and since she did not pull away, I kissed
her fingertips, her palm, and her pale wrist.
“Drink up,” she cooed. “Don’t let it go to waste.”
I drank all the rest, not minding the taste
since I knew she’d soon sweeten the flavor
with her body, which I longed to savor.
Spider Tea now drank, she caressed my thigh,
then kissed me with lips succulent and sly,
and I felt so hot with lust at her touch
that I did not mind the pain quite so much
while my guts boiled badly from within, then,
and I breathed scalding steam like an engine.
“Do you want me?” she asked. “Tell me you do
because I brewed Spider Tea just for you.”
I did want her, and I said so, again and again
while my lust burned and boiled outside and in,
and I melted for her, body and soul,
while she sucked me dry, drinking me whole.