Trying to Love Me

Trying to Love Me

Jessica McClendon, 2018


When its hot out I feel like I might not love you

The burning in my lower back and the sweat beneath my breasts make me want to stretch out in a full X

And when I stretch out, there is no room for you in the bed

Then you look at me with hungry eyes

Eyes that rove and devour and say “let me come close to you”

I usually love that look

But from my full X, I try to keep my eyes neutral

Trying not to tempt you

Secretly hoping that my ambiguous expression keeps you away from me

You see? It seems like its you I don’t want 

But its me. 

I feel as if my pores open wide to suck in any cold air that may be playing hide and seek in the corners of the room

And if my pores are open, the sweat pours out

Coming from the far corners of my inner world-up through the soul, the bone, the muscle, the dermis

Possibly carrying with it the secret fear that I am unlovable

And if I let you close to love me, you might taste it on my skin