Appearance Versus Reality

He kept saying it over and over,
until it seeped into my dreams at night.

“Good things are hard to sell.
They meet you and look at you
then decide to love you
So that it all starts to feel like a trick,
like the sick feeling at the pit of a stomach
filled with sweet treats.”

Then once every fortnight,
he would say at the end:
“But only because you believe it to be so.”

When I came to,
my chin was always stiff and sore.
As though someone strong had gripped it firmly
between their fingers
for a very long time.
It was a weird case of hypnosis,
Where he became cause,
then I became cause.
And so the cycle would go,
a merry-go-round of effect.

Until one day, I bit his fingers
while still in the trance.
And woke up to the angry screams
of a man,
his assistant dialing a number.

They came and were instantly convinced
by my chin dripping with the doctor’s blood.
Surely, they were I:
patient and perpetrator both,
my pleading taken for that
of a manipulative tyrant,
never of a well-swindled victim.

Good things are hard to sell.

All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 2021 Tebogo Ndlovu

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