The Cry Catcher

The Cry Catcher

On my bedside, a divorce
gift: diminutive bottle
to pour my grief in—

Victorian vessel for tears,
midwife to despair.

Lachrymosa, a Latin
word that tastes of salt.

I’m shit at this,
aiming my grief into
the dainty mouth of it like a boy
learning to piss within the rim.
My ache dribbles
down the sides
and into a palm.

Crying into the neck
is difficult as pumping milk
into two-ounce bottles. I stopped
nursing when my girls bit.

When tears have teeth,
I’ll wean them.

This is eternal, though
they say mourning ends
when the bottle dries.
Evaporation is the finish line
of a broken heart.

I think of the water cycle,
something about the ocean,
vapor, clouds, rain.

A circle of arrows.

How it all starts again,
the breasts engorge, tide-line
of salmon skin.

My eyes are caught on
bloodshot coral.

Waves wane then
find their strength again,
blankets up to my chin.

How do we grieve?
There is no woven hair,
no skulls or onyx pins.
No X’s on the calendar.

I feign levity but dream
of condolences limned in jet,
my arm ribboned in
black tourniquet.

– published in Sigh Press, 2018