Promises kept

We sat in that lonely, one-bedroom

apartment, the afterglow of the downers

we popped, reflected in our eyes,

there was nothing cathartic about then,

no Eureka moment, we drifted in and out

of oblivion, but during that trance

when the edges of reality blurred

and melancholy made us look

past the table and television screen

in front of us, staring at nothing

and everything, you whispered,

“If all this gets too much, promise me

we’ll look after each other,”

and though I heard the words

clearly, I said nothing, and it wasn’t

until later that they bored a hole in my

heart, left a space there that

only a promise kept could fill,

but the years have turned memories

into abstract recollections

and the once gentle lanes of

nostalgia look warped, ugly

and sordid, I hate you for not keeping

your end of the deal, but I love you

in the hope that what was said all

those years ago will eventually

become truth, that wherever you

are, fate will set you on a trajectory

that will find you here, amidst my

brokenness and silent prayers,

the ebbing tide of addiction

making me wish I was never born,

a predilection for the bluest

nihilism replacing an avid thirst

for experience,

faint thoughts becoming echoes

of impending self-destruction if

I go on like this,

and though the soul speaks

in undertones, reiterating

that no human being

can save me, and it’s idolatry to

think they can, I’ve forsaken

principle and rejected every

aphorism, I’ve ignored the little

heartbeats that urge me not to

burden someone who’s paying

their own price for mistakes made,

I need you, maybe not as a lover

anymore, but as a friend,

someone who’s seen the harrowing

features of suffering’s face,

someone who speaks of

brighter dawns with sincerity

and not faux-compassion.

2 responses to “Promises kept”

    • True. By and by we’re all lonely and have nobody to turn to except ourselves. People come, make promises and then break them. Ultimately it’s only the self that’s constant. Thank you so much for your kind words EC.

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