By CL Bledsoe

Three Kinds of Sadness

There’s a certain kind of sadness
that sticks to the clothes like burrs.
Maybe you pick it up walking through
forgotten fields, maybe someone spills
it on you while painting stars on your
bedroom ceiling, the one you’ll never
see again. Drops that stain and eventually
wash out. There’s another kind that
burrows deep into the chest like chiggers.
You can scratch until you bleed, but
that only drives it deeper. They live
in the graveyard dirt, the receding back.
If you leave them to eat their fill, they’ll
eventually crawl out and leave you to
heal. But there’s another kind that can
come in through your ears or eyes,
maybe through skin split by a belt, a fist.
They don’t stay in the skin; they gnaw
through to the brain, the heart. They set
up house, there. Once they’re in, they’re
never coming out. You learn their names,
their favorite brands of tea. They will make
themselves your closest friends.

Stuff My Stupid Heart Likes by CL Bledsoe (co-author of and The Wild Word:

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