river-made woman

I swallowed so many tears, my bones eroded and turned me into riverbed.  Woman-made river, catching the sadness like it was meant to hold it.

I swallowed so many tears, I built an ecosystem in my limbs.  A saltwater stream, full of smooth river rocks and tiny legged things with flow of their own.

My eyes became dammed, stopping the waters, holding them back.  My eyes became dry, became drought, became desert, and the sparkles that used to bloom there grew needles just to survive.

I swallowed so many tears that it is habit now, it is river, it is bed.  It is the bed I rest my words in.  They wake up tear-glistening.  It is the bed my body kneels beside and prays for more, even though it pays for more with attrition.  Even though it pays for more with its own life-marrow.

I am learning how to wake up better.

I am learning how to remind my eyes they are made of sky, made of clouds, designed for let go not hold in, built for roses.  I am learning how to remind my eyes to trust more than sunshine, that rain is release, and release is a blessing, too.

I am learning how to cry again, learning that I don’t have to store up all my rainfall, that I replenish what I need, and that my eyes are still an oasis held hostage under all this dry.

I am learning how to cry again,
learning to let my words be the final mouth of a river-made woman.