Love Me A Man Who Cries
I claw / against the syrup to love other men / for whom, bless them, a bird is just / a bird.
a moment like sea legs at the end
of a bottle but one
who weeps in movie theaters.
At the radio. A kind act between
strangers on a subway, a happy
wind-danced pine at the edge of
a concrete lot. Often, you may
guess, I have been this man,
thought it among my most extra
and hard-to-love feathers. I claw
against the syrup to love other men
for whom, bless them, a bird is just
a bird. And I have my mother
to thank for this. Whose laugh
lines like oak grain I also wear.
Who this instant I wish
I could slice through quarantine
to wrap my arms around,
stewing above her sewing machine
pricking fingers to stitch masks
for grocery workers. She smiles
and tears softly at the weight of
the sick world outside, just as
she does in the produce aisle
floats on, or at a sky so blue it
just flat out deserves a cry;
a simple drop or two to state it
There. I have let it in.
Or, moments ago safely from the other side of six feet of air, when I giggled to her that I spend my therapy dollars unpacking a fear of becoming her while rejoicing in poems like this one: Thank god I already have.
Dr. Adam Falkner is a poet, educator and arts & culture strategist. He is the author of The Willies (Button Poetry, 2020), and his work has recently appeared on programming for HBO, in The Guardian, The New York Times, and elsewhere. A former high school English teacher in New York City’s public schools, Adam is a national consultant, speaker and trainer around issues of equity and inclusion, and was the featured performer at President Obama’s Grassroots Ball at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. He holds a Ph.D. in English and Education from Columbia University.
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More in this series
The world was a changed thing / a variant of its former self, and you were / A new ripple in the miles-deep pool of time, / that one breath strumming the tender / Chords of the system.