I’d Rather See You Cry

It’s so easy to hide it,
behind screens, or hands, or walls.
To tuck your pain away where it can’t
make things worse.  Or better.

I’ve heard voices break and connections go dead,
I’ve witnessed messages composed, deleted, and composed again,
Then still left unsent.
Or reduced to a single word.

I’ve had doors slammed and locked in my face,
backs turned to me, faces twisted away.
I’ve conversed through bathroom doors,
shields of hair and pulled up knees, comforters that failed to comfort.

I’ve watched faces seal the sorrow in,
seen it bitten it off with tightened lips,
beheld it smothered out by defenses I can’t image,
In eyes deep as the well of souls.

And I have hidden behind layers of my own.
Veils woven of dark humor, over walls built of analysis,
Around pain and fear and need I would burden no one else with.
Yet I expected trust.

Tears and trust are only easy for children.
For us they must be earned, and shared.
They cannot be taken, or stolen, or forced,
And they can be so easily lost.

I’d rather hold clenched hands and shaking shoulders,
hear sobbed imprecations and wailed confessions,
I’d rather let sorrow soak my shirt and pain pierce my heart.
I’d rather suffer together than hide separately, and suffer still.

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