• Jan Avellana

Let Joy Win

Don't get so sad

that the sad wins.

Don't let it gather up it's strength

eating the dark.

Let the light in and starve it.

Don't get so sad

that the sad fills your lungs,

because that's too sad

and then you'll die by


Don't listen to the sad

tell you it's lies, and you will know

they are lies because they make

you feel all mellow inside, and squishy,

and that never leaving your dark bedroom

is the best idea ever, and bathing is not a thing anymore,

and your family who loves you right outside

your door seem light years away and better off without you anyhow.

Don't you listen.

Feel along the edges of joy instead,

joy that makes you get goosebumps when you smell

the milky goodness of a newborn baby,

or puppy-breath--which is honest to God almost the same thing.

Feel joy even if all you can find are crumbs,

because they are like nuggets of gold

and you can cash them in for another hour of life,

another day of seeing the sun rise and set,

another hour to remember that there is still

so much good in the world for you...for YOU.

So if joy is a bowl of warm ozoni today, eat it,

if joy is an hour with a friend bitching over an overpriced cup of bean juice,

have it,

and if joy comes in a pill from the doctor,

so be it--

swallow those joybits with gratitude and don't think twice about it.

if joy is ordering something online

so you can wait on tiptoes for the mail lady,

order it.

And please, for me, for joy, for Heaven's sake, and most of all for YOU,

let joy win.

~j. a. hongo, 2020