As a child there were places I could go and weep,
where my mother would follow and let me weep.

Forced into the sliced-light darkness of school locker,
two boys laughed: men do not weep. Men do not weep.

Dad taught me to cut my neck until it bled,
and through his pain I learned how not to weep.

That year, I met a girl, and with a needle shot myself
into her. The hardest way to a heart is not to weep.

In Boston, in Brussels, children’s legs are blown off.
I do not know them, I think, unable to weep.

I dammed my flowing face until it held a stony shape.
Beneath it, Riley, fish asleep in a river that weeps.


Riley Nisbet is a graduate of Central Michigan University. His work has appeared in Open Palm Print, Temenos, The Blue Route, and other journals.