I was carefully caressing old papers
The kinds we treasure
Hidden in a wooden box, tobacco, from when smoking was still a rite of passage
Slips, notes, cuttings, beauties of visceral import
At the time, and now.
Amongst them a photocopy, the cover of a book I never managed to own
‘The Topography of Tears’ RL Fisher
The paper, velvet from my hands
unfolding it, smoothing, shedding tears on it, coffee. Re-folded.
A ritual of sorts
Under a microscope, in my tears, I am sure you will find crisp palaces.
Lake District mountains, deep Swiss lakes, filigree Norfolk river runs
If my life was depicted in tears
would you see icy oceans?
Or the lukewarm duckpond Kristine weed in when she was three?
Tears. Single drops or
cascades running off the Jostedal Glacier? Peeled onion
ugly-crying? That perfect laughter tear?
Mine are smoke sodden, from the burning of heathers on high up moors.
Tears long, black. The 80ies mascara kind. Visible
Dirty plaits braiding, hungry for reshaping. Seas digging into lands, my
Does the sea cry too? The eaten land, does it bay? Like I do, for you?
Do tears tear up?
The possibility of tears’ tears, breaks me and all I can think of
Your last tears, what did they show?
How can I know when I didn’t make it to catch
your last breath, your final tear
I would have let it run on
to my finger, tasted it.
Maybe bottled it. Saving the contours of its landscapes for later,
maybe never in
fear of craggity sharp, vile Sauron landscapes
I cry for you, we all do. The glaciers, the seas, lands, me. All the cries.
Salty flakes in burial crowns and serenades
I fold. In all the ways a woman can. Fold that velvet page too
Topography of Tears, back in the smokebox