when sadness is no longer an emotion
when it becomes a residence
an empty abode, with no windows
filled with the smoke of anxiety
and the ashes of what used to be comfort are spread about
with no mythical birds in sight
no Lazarus resurgence of normal
my mind’s eye projects onto empty walls playing back “could-have-beens” in high definition
mistakes are played by giants
hitting every cue.
moving pictures of stagnation.
establishing shots of a ghost town
backdrops of statues constructed from stolen moments and irony.
those moments where heaviness is your only evidence of existence
where the only thing to grab onto are slippery slopes of your magnanimous mind
with delusions the opposite of that grandeur shit
pardon my French but “je ne suis pas heureux”
and no one you care about understands that it means “I. am. not. happy.”
where a rainbow at the end of your storm seems too far fetched
because how dare i imagine that it will end…
no pots of gold
nothing to pay off this debt of guilt
compounding disinterest in positivity
because curling into a ball is easier than smiles and platitudes
easier than stepping outside.
easier than changing.
sadness is what happens when you are too tired to rage against the machine.
and you realize the machine is you.
and you don’t believe that the grand mechanic in the sky can fix it.
you’ve been running on fumes so long that anything else feels preposterous
when half tanks feel like luxury
when half empty is a goal
you’re living a half life,
and having a life is not a figure of speech, but a daily struggle
sadness is a volume of unfinished poems in dead languages….
where you chant “e pluribus unum” in unison with your problems
molehills conspiring with mountains
sparks conspiring with lightning bolts
May showers conspiring with Katrinas.
feelings never conspiring with common sense.
words that used to mean something in some long forgotten time
get lost in the ether of hardship.
stanzas are scattered in the white noise of forgetfulness
you are praying that your verses can, for once, cause a commotion
that emotion, for once, can lose to logic.
so that happy can join your vernacular and occasionally finish the metaphor of a good day.
Check out this week's Mental Health Monday for additional reading and resources.
Alise Leslie is a poet, author, blogger, spoken-word artist, and mental health advocate currently residing in Durham, NC. She writes at the blog, “In My Mental Mind: a black girl’s mental health journey," focusing on mental health issues, particularly for women and men of color, through essays, personal stories, poetry, and music. Her lipstick game is most likely better than yours. More Alise: In My Mental Mind | Facebook | Twitter
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