Instructions for Those Who Have Learned Not to Cry by Alex Vigue

after Sainte Sébastienne study #8 by Louise Bourgeois

There is an arrow at my throat. A
projectile screaming “boys don’t cry”

but both the boy and the arrow are myths,
fabrications conjured to control and to

shut. The slow decapitation of a ringing
volley can be stopped before the head is lost.

There is a gate in your throat. Tensed
knot, gnarled burl. It can be opened

as effortlessly as casting dandelion seeds
aloft with a breath. I said, “I don’t cry”

what I meant was, “I have forgotten how”.
Trees will grow around foreign objects,

integrating them into their bodies. Arrows
are easily swallowed. I don’t know how to

pull the shafts from your ankles, your
belly, your breast but you can cry again

if you realize you’re tensing your throat
and fighting the urge to breathe through it.

Alex VigueAlex Vigue is a queer poet and storyteller from Ridgefield, Washington. He has a degree in creative writing from Western Washington University and has been published in Vinyl, Maudlin House, and Lockjaw Magazine. His debut chapbook, The Myth of Man, was a finalist for the Floating Bridge Press chapbook competition. He works as a substitute teacher and retail worker all while impressing the importance of poetry on people of all ages.


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