A Comparative Theory of Relativity

A Comparative Theory of Relativity

For some,

sadness is a birthday cake

with red icing instead of blue

or a gift that wasn’t on the list.


For others,

it’s the lack of affection from a father,

without the excuse of a war.


It might be the lost job

or the failure to find one.


For anyone,

it’s the shock of an illness, a death

or the numb ache of infidelity.


It’s always the extra weight

you can’t will yourself to lose

or the pesky addiction

that shakes you like a piggy bank.


In a different landscape,

it’s the constant worry a splash of acid

might be your punishment

for walking unaccompanied

by a male relative in the streets of your own city.


In a different universe,

it’s a captivity so dehumanizing

it involves naked strangers

and the absence of light.


For me,

sadness is the guilt I feel

for feeling sad

when everything is mostly okay

compared to what isn’t,


and what isn’t

doesn’t hold a candle

to the darkness

that exists in other lives

I’ll never walk into

or through.



DeMaris Gaunt



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