Confessions of a Recovering Crier

For three years, not one tear has streamed
down my cheek, not one wet lash to wish on.

As a younger man with a thirst like baked dirt,
I would bawl over beers for hours, calling
friends at three a.m. during weeknight binges.

Iíd sob into the phone: I miss you, man,
to my best friend Dan, who was drunk in Missouri.

I fucked up my life, Iíd cry to my wife
while fixing, on ice, the eveningís second nightcap.

One time in college, I fell from a stool
and puked on my shoes as the bar crowd applauded.
Then the bouncer slapped a stone-heavy hand
on my slumped shoulder and snarled, Leave.
I fell to my knees, and pleaded, and cried,
claiming I was framed by the bartender.

These days, I drink and cry less and some people
have asked if Iím off the sauce. No way, Iíll say,
but Iím a recovering crier. And Iíll point to my eyes
as dry as hide and swell with what some call pride.

Nathan Graziano lives in Manchester, New Hampshire. He is the author of three collections of poetryóNot So Profound (Green Bean Press, 2003), Teaching Metaphors (Sunnyoutside Press, 2007) and After the Honeymoon (Sunnyoutside Press, 2009)ó a collection of short stories, Frostbite (GBP, 2002), and several chapbooks of fiction and poetry. A memoir titled Hangover Breakfasts will be published by Bottle of Smoke Press this summer. For more information, visit his website at www.nathangraziano.com.

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