my feet burned on cold sidewalks without shoes
no armor, no words prepared
just this heartbeat that kept running after you
just this tear I kept trying to wipe away
just this affection.
open armed, chest exposed, faltering
that deer that stumbles on its first steps
you called me.
but I wished to be ugly
wished you could love the insides, the imperfect
wished that in your drunkenness you called me more than beautiful
you kept saying I was beautiful
but there was broken, too
And I wanted to be strong
wanted to be your champion
make you go crazy with conversation the way that She did
But I know I’m not it
wet behind the ears and wobbly, new
uncertain of me
but so sure of my love for you
I wanted to run but I was still learning to walk so I stumbled
and you caught me
and I cried because you caught me but I knew you couldn’t keep me
and when you were next to me,
I missed you.
because when you hurt me I built a wall thick around this chest you loved to touch
constructed with every time you told me I wasn’t yet enough
I remember when you said you wished I had already grown up
so I am half closed to you
and all in love.
So tell me what to do
with bare feet running after someone I half hate
But am terrified
Lissa Piercy is a Boston based performance poet who recently served as a member of the 2014 Lizard Lounge Poetry Slam Team. She is a member and co founder of Flatline Poetry, winner of the 2013 Poetry Award for Best Poetry Group, who will be reading at Stone Soup Poetry on October 27.