My tears have not yet dried
When I thought of writing this poem
I still feel something warm in my eyelids
Something cold in my heart
I still feel foolishly vulnerable
To all the cheats of the world—
How it steals candy from you when you were a kid
How it denies you a father-mother-children photograph
How it hides from you that single piece you desperately need
To complete the puzzle you’ve been longing to complete
It’s funny how even though you never have completed the picture
You clearly see the whole scene
As if nothing was missing

Now you search your home like NBI
Just to find what will accurately complete your art
Go to corners and drawers you never knew existed
Open closets or cabinets you wish have remained closed
Review memories you wish have never happened
Till you decide you like the taste of tears
And the feel of it on your now damp eyelashes
And the fact that it shits your face
And you like the fact that no matter how long you stay at the fan
Your tears won’t dry

Don’t expect tears to come out cold
Because you’re not a refrigerator
Which allows food to survive for days
No, emotions rot no matter how frozen you keep them
Inside you are not ice and stones
Sometimes you pretend to but you’ve not been numb
You’ve not been indifferent all along
You care a lot
There are times when you get a mirror just to see
How you look when you cry

There are times when you just close your eyes
And sense the motion of your tears
Trace where your tears are going
And decipher what letters they form on your cheeks
Do they spell joy
Do they spell sorrow
Do they draw names of people who’ve hurt you,
Names of people who’ve taken care of you
Shadows of those you lost along the way
Faces of people who’ve never let go of your hand
And touch your face every time you cry
Not to wipe your tears out
But to feel the moisture in their hands
So they can understand much better

If tears were not transparent,
Our faces would’ve been impressionistic canvass
Had various blurred hues, hazy tones,
And crazy overwrites of colors over colors
Pains over pains
Joys over joys

Tears are brilliantly transparent
For us to know that no matter how much you cried
You would still be clear to face tomorrow, unblemished
As pure as the first day you were born
Before this life messes you up
And shatters glasses in front of you close enough for the shards to harm you
Life punches you in the nose and waits till you bleed
So it can take away all the tissues you need to wipe away your blood
All the Band-Aids you use to cover the cut in your finger
It will wait till tears are diffused between your eyes
And they flow like a broken faucet
But no matter how long it goes pouring
The sink can flash the water,
Drain it and make room for more
Till you decide to repair the faucet
So you can save water even just for a while

After letting out a lot from your chest
It feels like it is much fuller
And my ribcage is where a bird flew out from



listen to spoken word here:

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