tell me about your heart…
usually that question
feels contrived to me
a way to create intimacy
immediately, almost too easily
and i have learned
to distrust those
who find words easy
because without follow through
words lose meaning
and there isn’t much
more confusing
than words
no longer meaning
what they were intended to

but he felt sincere
and so i paused
and checked in
with my heart
i felt the urge
to answer honestly
immediately followed by
a wish
a wish that i could
say something
different than
what was true for me

i felt a familiar heaviness
(and i so hate being
the heavy one)
i found myself wishing
i felt differently
light hearted even

but i don’t even remember
what it was like
to be light hearted

which is not to say
i am not often happy
i am
i find joy in much
i laugh easily
i submerge frequently
in silly
and i see beauty
most everywhere

but my heart feels heavy
and for as long as i can remember
that is what has been most true for me

i sometimes notice this jealousy in me
towards people who are outwardly
more sweet than me

it is a unique sort of jealousy
because i don’t actually wish to be them
or even to be more like them
i just really would love to know
what it is like
to be that way
to be so happy
being in that way

so perhaps
not so much jealousy
as extreme curiosity
with a whole lot of yearning
i often find myself wishing
i could be someone else
for a day or two
i do wish we all could experience
being different people
i imagine it would actually do
a tremendous amount
for humanity

empathy seems to be lacking
pretty dramatically
in the world these days

there is no way
we would do half of what we do
to each other
if we could actually feel
how it impacts the other

if we could actually know
how we affect another
and feel it
as if it was happening to us
in our bodies
in our minds
in our hearts
i imagine we would all be
better people

at the very least
way more compassionate
and way more aware
that we don’t know
what it is like
to be someone else
or why they are
the way they are

it is so easy
to project
onto others
i know i do it often
hey, i am kinda doing it here
it does seem more appealing to me
to be carefree and bubbly
but that isn’t me
at least not mostly
and i see how i am projecting

and so i answer honestly…
“my heart feels heavy”

he nods at me
a slight smile cracking through
no judgement
no make wrong
no wanting it to be different

it was so simple
and so healing
to be received
and all

and it makes me think…
how often i hide behind half truths
just so as to not let myself be seen
how often i don’t allow people
to know me
because i am worried
about what my impact might be

and it makes me remember
how important it is
to ask questions

it was such a relief
to feel his sincerity
to know he really wanted to know me
to see his care coming through

it was so refreshing
to feel he didn’t need me
to be different
or better

i imagine we can all do this
for one another
i imagine we could all
answer questions more earnestly
and ask more wholeheartedly

and i imagine
if we did
we would all feel
or at least more
connected for sure

that i can imagine
would feel better

❤️emily joy rosen

get emily's poetry collection (for free)

a beautiful, downloadable, keepsake e-book featuring a selection of emily's best-loved poems

your poetry book is on its way!