Your tears know where they come from.

lix nBy Sarah Matsui

For: Liz Nicolas, one of my dearest people and one of the most distinctly human individuals I know.

Dear friend, your way of seeing can be
as much burden as gift; I know
you know.

When tears threaten to swallow you whole:
Know you will not be overcome. Learn and relearn to
find the counterweight you need.

Find the ocean, take in the fullness of easy waves
rolling over themselves in abundance. Find mountain orchids,
kingdom comes small, buds live their resistance with you.

When told, “get it (yourself) together”
because you need something to diminish the sharpness,
know: their worldview is their anesthetic.

There is nothing noble to ignorant apathy.
We each have limits, but
we were given heart’s eyes for a reason.

You who loves restorative justice, loves deeply.
Each drop is poetry wrung
from the image and likeness you bear.

You who have known suffering, known struggle, known loss
and have been guided out of the depths—
you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

There’s an art to your particular sadness
resists the sweeping stupor,
acknowledges the inherent tension of is-to-come.

Hierophany of conscious tears; each
its own noncompliant counterstory. Illuminated
elegiac presence standing aloud in the wilderness.

Cradle the grief of your hope.
In acknowledging death, your dirge
is a prelude paean to life.

From the gentle slope of your spirit
as it receives the confession of humanity:
a moral arc bends towards justice.

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