finding tears.

my supervisor tells me you get to choose again
and i have to go off camera so she won’t see
a grown man wipe his eyes, I
am telling this story just fine
until my friend interrupts me to say
you don’t have to keep saying ‘twice,’
and, puzzled, i ask what she means, she says
say ‘it was a mistake’ but you don’t
have to keep saying ‘twice’

on the night we gave up, i thought
i might find tears when i crossed the finish line home,
but no, just numbness and then relief,
found fury and indignation and
regret, my least favorite of these, in all
the rebuilding tomorrows, but
no tears

the only times i want to cry, am tempted
to buckle into myself, are the moments
i am offered grace, far
easier to regard myself with
brutal hands, stupid boy and your
stupid hopes, steel myself over
and keep going, ready to weather anything
but a single gentle touch, any
permission to confess the
tender, animal griefs within me