“trade honesty” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday March 4, 2017
5 minutes
A poem by Rupi Kaur

I start lying the summer after my Dad leaves
because it’s easier and it feels good, or it
appears to be easier and it’s instant
gratification. It starts small, “I went to
the beach this weekend,” or “I haven’t had
ice cream in ages!” Then it grows, right,
like, you knew that was coming. Before I
know it, before you can say, “Don’t let
the bedbugs bite and if you do hit them
with your shoe until they are
black and blue,” before any of it, it’s
a wildfire of untruth and it’s heavy
and greasy and ugly and fuck I’m drowning
in the gas of it. I try to stop – I
challenge myself to not lie once for a
whole day. I feel breathlessly guilty,
my throat closing, my teeth clenched.
I don’t know when I finally began to
trade honesty. Maybe when I started
to notice how much the world lies,
how much my best friend lied, how
lies burned the whole house down in
the first place.