What Becomes of Our Sadness
We diagnose ourselves flowers. We look on the internet for an antidote or
gardening tips, but we rarely seek a doctor. Doctors medicate. We’d rather
self-medicate or not medicate at all. We’d rather seek gardeners. We’d
rather not be depressed.
We want to be rose bushes blooming in the yard. We don’t like that we
are the barren bushes of winter. We’re scared of becoming bouquets the
most. We’d wilt beyond repair and only be good for potpourri. We don’t
want to sit in a jar on someone’s coffee table. We want to be outside in
the sun. Instead, we are depressed anxious grieving scared scarred victims
survivors surviving making ends meet or meeting our ends.
We wish we had forgotten happy. Then, maybe sad wouldn’t seem so stale.
Some of us have forgotten happy, and it makes the rest of us mourn for
them. We’re always mourning—for ourselves, for lost petals, for a couple
of days before we have to return to work to make ends meet, but the only
way that works is with a rope, not a ruler.
We dread our beds, because they are comfortable coffins, vases for our
stems to dry. When will we see the lives we watch from those beds on
tiny T.V.s or through arching windows or on windowsills?
We read books or watch T.V. or plant something living to live to distract
to discover to cover.
We decide to tell a doctor. They prescribe us medication. We decide not
to take it and nothing changes. We decide to take it, and we wonder if
we should make bouquets of ourselves. Maybe in that last moment
someone would hold us and call us beautiful and our lives would be worth
But would we be able to feel with cut stems? Or would we just have one
more thing to mourn on our way out—ghost roots. The scent of death,
floral to us. We watch others’ petals fall. We pluck a few ourselves. Do I
love myself? Do I not?
We are weary. We are worn. We are wilted.
Calida Osti is a poet and writer from Georgia, currently writing in Indiana. She has an MFA from Lindenwood University and has served as an editorial assistant for The Lindenwood Review. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Better Than Starbucks, The Midwest Quarterly, Misfit Magazine, Sugared Water, WINK, Willawaw Journal, and Writers Resist. Say hello on Twitter @rawr_lida or by visiting her website.