I was born into a giant family
Cousins upon cousins and more cousins on top of that
We saw them often and it was a blast
Now as I'm older, never has such a huge family felt so quiet
At home not one word is spoken, almost as if I'm living with strangers
I pretend it's like that in my head
I could lie and say I like that, but I don't
I pretend I don't know you, and connect as little as I can with you because I don't want to feel that same detachment again.

I go into your home and feel that same way I did when my family was still big
Yours is small, but I still feel that same thrill and pure content
Your mum reminds me of mine with her crazy personality and the way she loves you
And being there with you makes that all so much more like home
Even more than I had felt when my family was once giant

And just as my giant family left, you did too
I sit in my bed at home, listening to the utter silence of the 4 that remain, although it feels like nothing
No fighting over the television, or who gets the drumstick of the chicken
No dancing around the kitchen, or eating dinner together
I lay in my bed all on my own and think of the two families that once made the world feel loud
Sleep comes over, I embrace it as it comes and bless the giver of oblivion.

Photo credit 📷 Darius Khondji