Crime of Tears

By , Elkridge, MD
A thousand dry eyes,
Sandpaper against my tender skin.
Up and down my quivering frame:
Hateful, judging. My tears are a sin.

Red cheeks, breathless throat
Pursed lips to hide the tremble-
What will the verdict be?
The jury begins to assemble.

Emotion. Expression.
Sensitivity in the first degree.
The evidence is overwhelming,
What will my sentence be?

Severe. Harsh. Pitiless.
Because I’m a repeat offender.
Acid words drip from the judge’s mouth:
It’s my heart I am to surrender.

“Pull the weed up from its roots,”
Is their disgusting philosophy-
They tell me they’ll start the operation
On the count of one, two, three.
*
*
*


A life without a beating heart
Is not unbearable, per say,
I have no tears because all of
The pains are locked far, far away.
Now my veins run dry and no pulse,
Even slight, graces my pale neck.
The people still spit and scorn me
But it no longer has effect.

Sometimes I can’t help but wonder
If life emotionless is life.
I cannot remember breathing
Since I was cut with their cold knife.
Can a road be a road without
Any potholes, bumps, cracks or stones?
My tears were just as much a part
Of me as my sweat, skin and bones.
*
*
*
I stole away into the evidence locker,
Found the case documenting my arrest.
Swiftly, I found the resting place of my heart
And plunged it back into my chest!



Like a key into a lock it fit
Back under my rising, falling, rising ribs.
I closed my eyes in sweet satisfaction,
And felt a drop peel away from my lids.

Footsteps! And a heavy hand on my shoulder,
I turned around and was aghast to see-
The very same man
Who had just prosecuted me.

Back in the court room,
Once again, I’m a repeat offender.
Although this time I consider myself
A more formidable contender.

A million dry eyes,
Sandpaper I embrace with my calloused skin.
Tears fall freely over my rosy cheeks,
Droplets of strength surging outward from within.





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