Therese Nneji

I used to be so close to so many, we all used to be.

But as time goes on, I become uncertain.

I’m not sure anymore if it was this quarantine that forged this divide,

or if we were never really that close to begin with.

Afternoons spent eating ice cream in a park,

messily eating ice cream to beat hot summer sun–

have now been replaced with dull weekends spent scrolling through social media.

Post after post on how horrid this world is.

How did I live so long, so oblivious

to the evils, this world has lined up for the “big” 1.8.?

And when I look for a shoulder to cry on it turns cold.

When I look for a like mind it closes off.

Hours of phone calls have worn out relationships.

So I think: maybe I never knew good people.

Or maybe I never took the time to know how good they are.

I find myself wanting nothing more than to feel the presence of a friend–

a real friend.

Not a voice breaking up and a screen glowing up.

But right now, I know it isn’t worth it.

The numbers are too high, the nation’s too delicate.

I can’t risk a life just for a moment of relief.

And I know I’m not alone in feeling so alone

but that doesn’t soothe the loneliness.

And I complain so much, it’s sickening.

I’m so tired of seeing myself choke on my desire for connection.

Why can’t I turn to those who bore me?

Why can’t I turn to those born beside me?

Why aren’t they enough to comfort me?

And I only want to apologize to those who relate to this.

Those who feel inexplicably stuck, knowing there’s a person behind that door.

I can’t apologize enough to those who turn and hideaway.

Who do nothing but pray for the day this nightmare ends.

I can only imagine how much they long for connection.

A genuine, human connection.