The Only Tear in Detroit by Lyndi Bell O’Laughlin

It’s a riot in there, the mind incarcerating itself with yarns, vivid festivals of nothing. It’s hard to resist the urge to fling a little chum in the water, a risky thought, say, or an unchained memory. Stand back and watch as pictures and words roil and foam, listen as they whisper to each other from the second-story ocean we believe to be unique; feel emotions from the aquifer below rise up, white-cap across the top. Every once in awhile an image will squeal and fall out in broad daylight, as if accidentally bumped by a confused child, or a panicked deer running blind through the halls of consciousness. Notice how the gulls scatter when your stories tumble over the sea wall. Look out, here comes one now. Never been to Detroit, but I’ve heard this tale before, and recognize the somber expression on that young man’s face as he looks out through prison bars, a single cornball tear tattooed on his cheek, as if he were the only one.

Lyndi Bell O’Laughlin writes from her home in Wyoming. Her poems have appeared in The New Verse News; Blood, Water, Wind, and Stone: An Anthology of Wyoming Writers, and the WyoPoets Newsletter.