No Shame in Being Sad

You used to cry so sweetly that your tears

were more sugar than salt. But despite the fact

that I wanted to collect each one like an eyelash on my fingertips,

I knew all that water was just hiding poison underneath.

That you were ashamed of your dark purple moods,

the way you never used razors or scissors

for shaving or cutting hair, but something else entirely.

Knew you blamed yourself for the weekly appointments with a therapist,

beat yourself up over each one like a self-sacrificing piñata.

But if I could tell you anything now, it would be this:

if your body is a map, there are places inside it you have never seen.

There’s an ocean of strength hiding somewhere inside your ribcage

waiting to be discovered and named

as the next great world wonder.

There’s never any shame in feeling bad, in needing help,

in playing tug of war with yourself on your worst days

in an attempt to find a balance between sad and normal.

When I was younger, I used to play telephone

with twine and a paper cup,

and I know you are angry at yourself for listening so hard

to hear some good news on the other end,

and sometimes you might feel like an empty dial tone,

but that doesn’t mean the static will never clear.

The smile that makes your day

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