I Hesitate

By Laura Buccieri

i know i will
before holding your hand
before kissing your cheek
in public
and for all of that i’m so sorry
all i want to do is move straight
towards your body
my arm your shoulder
my lips your cheek
but i let strangers pull me back
caught in a net
i was taught to swim
around the time i was taught
to wear dresses and barrettes
and some of that i’m still not so good at

i hesitate because if i magnet my hand
to yours that means we are together
meaning visible
meaning open to interpretation
i hate thinking like that
it’s too heavy to carry in this heat
but looks are being thrown
at us like a baseball and my reaction
is to catch and hold on for too long

inside of me lies moments in which i stumble
each crumpled like a first draft of my history paper
i don’t like
the way this started

but i wake up and put on the same clothes
and try to stutter-step a little less
i am and was and will be
i don’t care i just want to be pretty
just know i never hesitate
when i’m taking off my clothes in front of you
they’re like warm water falling off of me
and that is everything
that is everything

Headshot of Laura Buccieri

Laura Buccieri lives in Manhattan, where she is getting her MFA in Poetry at The New School. You can find her most recent work in Prelude, Potluck, Word Riot, FORTH, and Nourrir. Check out more of her work at LauraBuccieri.com.

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