Off Limits

Self-Preservation by Valerie Parente

It’s not being prude
its self-preservation
it’s protecting thyself from everyone else
in an attempt to preserve
the life lessons I’ve earned
because what could be worse
than losing the individual I learned.

I swear, this fear of intimacy
is not a fear of what’s in me
it’s fear of a touch that might corrupt
everything I’ve ever dreamed of.
Because what happens when I open up?
Would it change the person I was?
I’ve spent a lifetime learning who I am
and I’m so deeply scared
of my worldview crumbling at another’s hand.

– Valerie Parente (1-3-2020)


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