Save You

You tell me I’m wrong, and you’ve changed, and you’re hoping.

you sit down, unfold a menu, order a drink, ask how i’ve been.
a nicety you practice
to convince yourself
you care.

i watch your smile
never reach
your eyes,
take a thick breath,
exhale:
i’m good

then swiftly shift concern
back to
you.

you admit
there’s something missing,
but you don’t know
what’s
wrong.

tired of lying,
i ask
if i can tell
the truth.

you taste your drink
and nod.

i tell you
you’re racing towards people
and things
that will swallow
you,
whole flesh and bone
without chewing.

half your mind is already missing.

numb from questions you never ask
fearing the answers might expose
you.

you tell me
i’m wrong, and you’ve changed, and you’re hoping.

hoping that one day you’ll wake up
and all the things you’d like to like
you’ll finally
love
and your tears will be happy
and your joy will be real
and the hole in your chest
raw with desperation
and dissatisfaction
will close.

i tell you
the hope won’t save you.

the likes won’t save you.
the followers won’t save you.
the congratulations won’t save you.
the degree won’t save you.
the money won’t save you.
the secrets won’t save you.
the ring won’t save you.
the new house won’t save you.
the new car won’t save you.
the busy work won’t save you.
the overpriced wellness retreat won’t save you.
your friends that aren’t really friends won’t save you.

your eyes swell,
you shake your head,
wipe a tear
and laugh.

you tell me
to keep my
truth
and you’ll keep your
hope
and we’ll see who ends up
happier.


Happy Sunday, beautiful people.

I thought about writing a line-by-line, script-like dialogue for this particular conversation, but it came to me in the form of a disjointed poem.

Lots of updates and new tings to share this month.
As always, thank you so much for reading.
— Nneka