at the lab they need a cup of tears
so i crouch in a little white room
& try to think of something
to make myself cry. i imagine
dead dogs & your plane taking off.
nothing is coming.
i center myself.
take a few deep breaths. try again.
i have round chubby hands.
6th grade & no one wants to have lunch with me.
we're on a field trip so i sit on a grassy hill alone
& dream of being older. eating mac & cheese
with a plastic fork. yes, that's close.
crying is a certain skill. i have friends
i've only seen cry once or twice
& then ones who are masters. i wish
i cried more. the doctors want to know
where my sadness comes from.
so they need the sample to run through
their new gold machine.
they're hoping everything is diagnosable.
i don't cry about things people think i would.
it doesn't make me sad we ran out of food sometimes
or that i slept in the backseat of a car for a summer.
once in a therapy season, the psychologist ask me
to pause & let the emotions about my father
sink in. i heard "seep" instead of "sink."
i told him i didn't want to cry.
i couldn't, not in front of him.
my dad has seen me cry & i'm always
so embarrassed in front of him or my mom.
i am a happy g/irl or at least i can be
in the right light with the right amount
of concealer. when i was a real girl
i never let myself cry because it would ruin
my winged eyeliner. not even the thought
that i once lived as a girl makes me sad.
you know what is sad? fireworks.
zoos. prisons. tuesdays. i want
the results. i want to know
what is so wrong with me. maybe it's just
in our blood. sometimes my brother just texts me
"it's hard--it's so hard right now"
& i know exactly how he feels.
i lay on the floor & picture my eyes
as two pools of tears ready to spill.
hold the cup to my face & get one out.
raise the cup to the white neon light
to look at the liquid. does it shimmer?
is it enough to process?
soon a nurse will come
& peer at the jar's contents too.