by Autumn Schraufnagel
​©2020 Lin Blythe                                                                                                       
IG: @linblythe90022
Autumn is a MFA poetry student and Graduate Teaching Assistant at Oklahoma State University. She was awarded the Academy of American Poets College Poetry Prize representing the University of Illinois. Her work has also appeared in Paperbark and Montage Arts Journal.
For Men Who Can't Cry

Sworn off in favor of more wholesome
emotions, like anger, or frustration. 
You’re surprised to find the sadness 
sitting on the counter one morning.
Someone must have forgot to put it away. 
Like a dry ache and a swift decline
of a 99-cent donation. No thanks.
You won’t consider it. My father,
practiced in the art of compartmentalization: 
a pair of yard shoes, a pair of good shoes,
your favorite shoes. Simple. His father’s 
funeral, his mother’s subsequent funeral, 
the death of several, childhood dogs. 
You thought for sure the crushed embers
in your sternum would yield something 
salty and wet. A bag of golf balls 
at the center of your intestines— 
sadness you could label as such. 
Taught to bet on losses, another chip 
added to the pot. Shaking out the night 
sweats, the worst part being the desire. 
A tight neck and bowed head, each time,
coming up dry. 

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