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are we gonna talk - devon webb


Are we gonna talk about it?

Our shared trauma?

Or rather, your trauma that has overflowed

like blood I’m forced to handle

hell, I never asked for this

so are we gonna discuss how fucked up it is

or are you gonna run away again

like a coward calling himself a man

like an avoidant spectre of unsaid things


I have been doing your emotional labour for six months

I have been giving you too much

I have been overlooking every red flag

out of a longing that it was easy to love you


But baby I’ve been doing my taxes

& it’s come to my attention that in terms of

emotional stability

this is not an economically viable situation


You’ve gotta pay me if you want me to be your therapist

& honey you need that shit

there’s clearly something a little twisted

in your perception of femininity


You say you don’t exhibit misogyny

but blame women for all your bad takes

it wasn’t his girlfriend ruining your best mate

it was him & his narcissism


But I never took you for insecure

I took you for a Leo with an inflated ego

maybe that’s why you’re projecting

maybe that’s why there are some things

on which you struggle to self-reflect


& I don’t know how to say these things to your face

cos you’ve gone ghost on me again

can you dump people in your head

or is that just pussy bullshit


I have become more comfortable with confrontation

but you don’t give me the chance

& that’s why you & I will never last

that’s why I will have a perpetually breaking heart

if I keep it yours


I wish my heart was yours

it has your name on it like I’m a

child with too many crayons

it wants to be yours but it’s not


It can’t be

cos I love myself too much to keep it

in these masochistic cycles of

unbalanced one-sided fantasy relationships

is this twin-flame shit or delusion &

can two truths coexist


I wish you had a heart that was open not

hidden behind a hundred walls &

I wish it was mine

but you have only ever loved yourself


& can I blame you for being one-track minded

are we not the same in so many ways

was I not one-track minded

a little too monogamous in my wanting of you


Maybe I love who you could be

& not who you are

& I wish the two things were a

little less far apart


but I can’t keep tryna pull them closer together

cos whether or not I want to know it

it’s not my job to fix you

it’s not my job to undo whatever it is that’s been done


It’s only my job to love

so I will do so from far away where

it doesn’t cause me so much pain

& maybe you will watch


wondering

why my eyes are so soft

behind the unanticipated absence

of tears.


Devon Webb is a 25-year-old writer based in Aotearoa New Zealand. She writes full-time, exploring themes of femininity, youth & neurodivergence. She shares her poetry online, through live performance, & has been widely published both locally & internationally. She is the two-time Wellington Slam Poetry Champion & is currently working on the final edits of her debut novel, The Acid Mile. Her work can be found on Instagram, Twitter & TikTok at @devonwebbnz.

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