Sadness

is a child who conjures fire.

He finds a railroad track in some woods by his

Green Meadows mobile home,

arranges some sticks and bark he scavenged from the ground

on that track

in the shape of a tent,

and lights the loose bark underneath it

with blue tip matches from under the kitchen sink.

Sadness watches it burn,

lies on his chest alongside the fire and blows,

staring into the orange coals, until his whole body relaxes,

the smoke, rising over the trees, quiet,

just the crackle of the fire can be heard.

He watches the tallest flame reach up toward the sky

as she belly dances a tale of forbidden love,

a snake rising out of her jar,

rising through the impossibly painful clouds,

burning away everything, the air, and even God,

who’s always sitting by a piano, her white hair in an up-dew,

reading glasses balancing on the tip of her nose,

eyes looking over the tops her glasses,

her hands cupping a bible half the size of her palm.

God, it seems, has had it with Sadness,

but it is the raw material of her bible he uses for his kindling.