The Function of Sadness

by Neil Carpathios

The face was designed to adjust
to loss. We were given these eyelashes
that stitch the lids shut. 

Trapped tears
turn into butterflies
that nest in the stomach. 

When we’re nervous
they wake up and flutter about,
which reminds us 

we’re not dead yet.

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More from Neil Carpathios

This Is Not a Poem, Damn It
Questions
What Happens Under the Overpass
Sweetness

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Neil Carpathios is the author of three full-length poetry collections:  Playground of Flesh (Main Street Rag Press), At the Axis of Imponderables (winner of the Quercus Review Book Award), and the just released Beyond the Bones (FutureCycle Press). He is a professor of English and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.

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