We were told we could be anything, and look at how we’ve turned out. They never told us that we’d understand why people rob banks, steal, cheat, kill, and lie. They never told us that we’d understand criminality, while we riot with the sanctimonious incredulity expected of us— that we’d often quietly empathize. They never told us that justice was merely anger’s petulant retribution.
They never told us we weren’t truly free, and that even the masters of us are slaves to the lacquered-finish nothing which we all pretend to be something. They never told us that we’d die in small rooms, with whatever malignant thoughts remain, our minds having departed before our flesh capitulated, left our bodies as hollowed, sagging, and broken shells.
They never told us we’d long for a lifetime, for something unnamed, and that we’d never find it. They never told us that once the paint had dried on youth’s rebellious graffiti-wall dreams, they’d be forgotten, or abandoned, lost to convention, lost— to time’s defeated apathy, the wired-jaw silence of beaten men, that they’d be pissed on by cackling-laughter winos, shit on by the pigeons waiting on ledges, stripped by winters’ malicious torrents of wind and rain.
They never told us that none of the promises made to us would ever be kept, or that even the geniuses among us, the seemingly accomplished, would never feel fulfilled.
They never told us that we’d hear our names whispered on autumn’s brisk winds, a foretelling, whilst a cold sun’s judgment glares angrily at us, and as its warm amber seduces the next; they never told us that all we’d really have is each other, lovers, that all else is glistening sunlit dust, and we shan’t tell those who follow us.