Artificial Tears

Untitled, Jessica Ram



Our father mixes
a searing elixir—
a paste of garlic
in a steel bowl
juice from a knot
of ginger-root
a dab of
honeyed cayenne.

He says
he needs it to cry.
I think of his mother
beating him
in a hot stone house,
a brown-eyed calf
in an abattoir.

We watch him hold
his hissing salve
to the corners
of his eyes
and he grimaces.
His tears
wash down
a stony face,
and ours



About the Author

Anahita Sharma · University of Cincinnati

Anahita Sharma is a recent Liberal Arts graduate from the University of Cincinnati. Their work can also be found in Ohio’s Best Emerging Poets. This piece first appeared in Short Vine Literary Journal.

About the Artist

Jessica Ram · Susquehanna University

Jessica Nirvana Ram graduated from Susquehanna University in 2018 with a degree in Creative Writing. Her work can also be found in Essay Magazine, Flagship Magazine, and Catfish Creek. This piece first appeared in RiverCraft. More of her work can be found on Twitter @jessnirvanapoet.

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