I once knew a boy who believed that the world, and everything in it, revolved around him.
Though not a glaring fault, I found it curious and odd.
I thought it common knowledge: Nothing is about you, about me, about us.
I tried my best to understand his views, to understand his world.
“Why do you smile at strangers,” he would ask, “instead of saving them all for me?”
I never found an answer. It is just what I’ve always done.
He chastised my honest interactions; and I begged for explanation.
“Your head’s in the clouds, and you’re far too naive.
If you can’t shape up, than you might as well leave.”
He talked about external worlds and the harsh realities of life, and I had to cock my head.
“We are the world, my sweetest boy. Why can’t you understand?
The stars, the roots, the systems, and all that’s between.”
We recruited translators to bridge the gap, to help us get along.
To no avail, I’m sad to say; for as I babbled on and on, I had to hang my head.
The words I spoke, their echoes chirped. But they we not my own.
The tone was wrong, the message, too. It seemed all hope was lost.
“I do not speak your language,” I spoke with a hint of despair,
“I suppose I should be going, to see what else is out there.”
He agreed, fought, felt rejection. “How dare you walk away!”
“But this is not about you, boy. Please, just understand.
You’ve missed the strangers’ smiles, the turning of the leaves;
You’ve missed the sunsets fragrant kiss, your hand entwined with mine.
You’ve missed the world around, while caged up in your mind.
You’ve missed out on connections, your heart leashed up inside.”
“It breaks my heart to see this, to see your world so small.
To feel your heavy vortex drag me down, and down, and down.”
“A better future lies ahead,” I can confidently say.
I once knew a boy, and we soon parted ways.
For, though the language of love is expressed through universal tongue,
That means so little when–at one’s core–there really, truly is none.