Everyone was crying all the time.
The weeping kept everything flowing,
But no one wanted to admire this.
People wept discreetly when they could,
And were always slyly palming tears.
There was no higher reputation
Than that of the most dry-eyed stoic.
Wily cryers claimed they couldn’t cry,
They weren’t brave, they said, just terrible
At welling up. More glistening cheeks
Nodded, Me too, I’m terrible, too.
To weep shamefully, in public view,
Was the most scandalous behavior,
Unless managed so defiantly
It almost made you check your own eyes.
This was all weird, given the city,
The high, shining, glistering city,
Needed tears, lubricated its gears
With them, floated in canals of them,
And everyone admitted as much,
Except with regard to their own eyes—
Their own contributions they’d deny
And then, wiping cheeks dry, off they’d glide.
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