When the World Loves You

I hate to have to be the one to tell you this

after all, you woke up today optimistic

and here I am

feeding you words that I know you do not want to hear

but I wouldn’t be much of a friend if I didn’t tell you the truth

about how the world loves you.

The world will love you

only after the soil hugs your flesh

when the breath leaves your body for that place it will now call home

the world will bring you home

on the backs of T-Shirts

and tattoos that kiss cuzo’s flesh

in a frame on grandmother’s wall

and in museums

popularize your name in a post

speak to you in a language that you will never understand

and in a voice that you will never hear

the world will love you

later

after the fact

like they did messiah

on their living room walls

force a crown of thorns around your head

sacrifice your body to social media

hang you

on their Facebook walls

hashtag your legacy

in cyberspace

they will celebrate you

like they never even did at birth

I warn you

they will throw you parties

bigger than anything your eyes could behold

hold you

in their memories like a nightmare

from which they cannot awake

you will haunt them

and they will love it

the world will love you in caskets

and in prayers

tell you secrets in the grave

they will confide in you

like a man to a woman’s hips

when the world loves you back

it is in flowers

and candlelight vigils

it is in marches, street corners, and pictures

the world will love you in laughter

and in memorials

in memory and regret

and I apologize that I have to be the one to tell you this

after all, you woke up today optimistic

but I wouldn’t be much of a friend if I didn’t tell you the truth

about how the world loves you

only in death.


This poem is inspired by “When the Hood Loves You Back” by Steven Willis. You can watch the video to my poem below. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel for notifications of more poems.

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6 thoughts on “When the World Loves You

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