the suffering of another

i don’t know what it is
when i see a smile
and my heart fissures for the smile-bearer
they look happy
so what is wrong?

it’s not that i think it’s fake, forced
it’s that i can’t divorce the knowledge
that somedays
this smile will be gone
she’ll know pain and injustice
and that’s not fair
it’s that i can’t reverse the awareness
that this person
can be so happy now
and lose it all one day
and it’s not fair
it’s not fair
and it’s weird because i barely know this person
we’re effectively more foreign than strangers
yet i ache more for her doomed experience
than for those of some of the people i claim to love most

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