I Hate Good-Byes

Poem By Jennifer Strubel

Foreign body heat,
constricting my chest.
Unknown hands upon my back.
a gentile pat – feels like a caress.
Stay away from me,
and touch me not.

You are scaring me,
The anticipation of it.
Those wiry arms reaching,
Chapped lips sweeping against my check.
You are scaring me,
Please come no closer.

And the eyes -
unintentionally intimate.
Peering shyly, looking away.
It is always the same.
Man or woman,
You are Medusa to me.

My hands go numb,
as my space is invaded.
A nonnative scent, like a sour flower
Fills my nostrils.
I hold my breath.
Pretending to smile.

Then, the hulk of a body retracts,
and my guts quake.
The skin,
it hurts where you touched me -
allergic to your salt.
In a few minutes,
I’ll be able to breathe again.

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