A Literary Magazine in Support of the Jewish Community

Back to Issue Six


"How Many Tears Can a Woman Cry Before She Has No Tears Left?" by Marissa Glover

How Many Tears Can a Woman Cry Before She Has No Tears Left?

This is a trick question.

Like, “If a rooster laid an egg

on the top of a roof, which way

would the egg roll?” Or, “How many

animals did Moses take on the ark?”


There is no right answer

because the question itself

is wrong. How can we number

the sum of a woman’s tears

if she never stops crying?


Psalm 56:8 says God stores

our tears in a bottle. It must be

a bottle the size of a planet,

a universe, a gigantic black hole.

This is a metaphor, of course.


There is no bottle that big.

Maybe there is no bottle at all.

Maybe God is a poet and this

is His way of saying he sees

our pain, that our tears matter


that despite being countless,

each one counts for something.

God keeps track of our sorrows,

writes them down in a book.

This is how we know for sure


God is a poet—with his metaphors

and his bottle of tears and his book

of sorrows. We know He somehow

sees fit to save our tears instead of

dry them. We just don’t know why.

Marissa Glover

Marissa Glover lives in Florida, where she spends most of her time sweating or swatting mosquitoes. Recent work can be found in Rattle, Rust + Moth, and Whale Road Review. Marissa’s first full-length poetry collection, Let Go of the Hands You Hold, was released by Mercer University Press in 2021. Her second collection, Box Office Gospel, will be published by Mercer in 2023.



Marissa Glover