beading on their glasses
soaking their pale blue collars.
for some it’s as familiar as wringing a cloth at a car wash
for others their tears are calibrated drip by drip
and for some it’s a mystery – they look at their hands
like a wilderness of archipelagos and firs.
we’re so broken; we’ve been so broken.
you’ll see them weeping in ones or twos
on benches in parks or train stations
holding their melon in their palms
or head thrown back, mouths taut
a great swan of grief escaping.
an endless gendered tide
has inundated the country:
baffled before the cameras
red-eyed in coffee shops
holding a photo of a daughter
their wearied mother
the letter from you
And since this is a dirgy piece – here’s Kali Malone for you.