the saddest thing is sometimes not a thing

Maybe it happens

on some tawdry little part of your day —

like washing the dishes,

or sending that joke via Viber —

or maybe it slips in,

slinks its way into the moments

until you have no other choice

but to realise it is there


and it is there


That moment has arrived

and it’s not what you expected.


It’s not as cataclysmic

or as destructive as you had thought.

There are no explosions

or appropriate bomb metaphors.

Not even monsters

unless you count the monsters

hiding away in the other building

because it’s not in this room —


it’s not in this room.


That’s the thing, that’s the kicker.

It’s the absence. The darkness.

The silence. The emptiness.


You were waiting for something,

like an actual thing

you could wrap around your arms

and stroke with your hand

but, no, it’s not a thing.


It’s nothing.


And it’s the saddest feeling you’ve ever felt.

Unhooked chains, dough that does not rise,

an empty inkwell, an out of tune piano,

a crooked painting hanging so high up

you can’t fix it to get it straight.


It was nothing.


And it finally happened

and it crushed me

(in its anti-climactic-ness)

and I was saddened


because it was here, of all places,

a place where I could put my shoes up

and call it a night.


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