Hard to Love

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: August 10, 2018

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Submitted: August 10, 2018

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I am nearly impossible to love
nearly, but not quite
so, if you’re hellbent on trying
let me clue you in on what 
you’ll be getting yourself into
I will probably never believe
your love is real... or perhaps I will,
but my hope in the ability
of affection to be anything but fleeting 
long ago died 

I need incessant 
reminders 
daily
hourly
as the second hand clicks away
towards minutes since
your last affirmation
my sense of security will fade
into the background 
of storm pregnant clouds
in my mind

I know who I am to myself 
at any given moment
but only you can reaffirm
who I am through your eyes

And who I am to past lovers 
has swung so quickly
from pedestal to pathetic
that steeling myself for the impact
of that sudden fall
will likely distract me
from noticing you trying to love me
in ways outside the comprehension
of my brand of gun-shy

I won’t welcome superficial
urgings for me love myself
I will see your attempts to encourage
that endeavor as a way for you
to wash your hands
of the responsibility to be present
emotionally

‘don’t hurt yourself’
sounds like disappointment 
to me

I read into things
my mind an overactive Sherlockian
mystery manufacturing machine

The inverse of my open book personality
that makes people feel
unbearably comfortable around me
is that I’m fully at ease 
sparsely
if ever
I am a walking wound
everything too much
sensory overactivity informs
my concern for 
and consequent distance from
those around me
if you break through
manage to convince me 
to sideline my cynicism 
in favor of you
Beware:

I get hurt easily
and…
I get over it hard

My sensitivity a straitjacket
that tightens the more you 
struggle against it

I will notice the 
lackluster creeping 
into your kisses
wonder what I’ve done 
if the inevitable staleness 
has enveloped
the me you keep 
in your mind


I carefully hide 
the extent of my insecurities
knowing full well 
what a burden they can be
I keep them wrapped up tight
a ball of uncertain spiderweb threads
until I trust you enough
feel safe
which means
that by the time I 
let forth the floodgate
it’s far too late to protect myself
from how much your dismay 
at my fragility
will force up grieving
from my unwilling gut

I bear my neck
only after making sure 
my blood tastes sweet, 
after making sure you think
I can handle the 
roughhousing... but I can’t.

I will take every possible clue
as proof that you’re 
falling out of love with me
While simultaneously 
putting together the pieces
of a plan you’re not making
and come to talk myself 
into and out of believing
over and over again 
that you have
some beautifully 
thought out surprise
waiting for me
only to hate myself 
for being let down
by my propensity 
for self-defeating fantasy

You’ll be haunted by the ghosts
of my abusers past
I will attempt to rescue you 
from your defensiveness 
over my flinching
at each loud noise, side-eye
and exasperated sigh 
you bestow on me
but a quiet resentment will breed
will spread through my bones
that you let my pain
poison your well of empathy
that your patience 
can’t extend eternally

Codependent 
doesn’t come close
I am all passion
and sadness
and enthusiastic 
but abashed need

My desire to know 
the you hidden beneath
will present in 
clumsily invasive ways
that feel skin-too-tight
at all the wrong times
feel like expectation
rather than elevation
especially if you’re unready
to experience the intimacy 
of submitting
to an x-ray love that sees
all of your self-harming 
and craves
to be the sutures that hold your
broken pieces together

Healing hurts and I will never
stop asking you to dive into
the ocean of it with me


© Copyright 2018 C. Ivy. All rights reserved.

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