How do you feel?

I don’t want to talk about the feelings I have for you.

Small words and strange comparisons

in short conversations

can never convey the truth.

And besides, I have trouble saying what I really mean.

My tongue becomes clumsy

and I trip over important phrases.

It’s much too risky to let myself be vulnerable,

to lay there

bare,

naked and prone,

without any defense between me and the outside.

Ah, I have built up a tough hide.

And now you ask me

with your eyes

how I feel

and you expect me to lay aside the

thick skin

I have acquired through years of hard work

and let you in!

How can I betray

all the hidden things I’ve stowed away

over my life,

things I’ve protected through peril and strife,

and let you reach your

warm, darling hand

inside of me to see

from what things did I start

and to cradle my fragile heart

in your gentle, calloused hand

and feel its beat and its weight?

I can not say I love you,

my dear one.

But I can try,

slowly and scared,

to undress

down to my soul

and let you see

the truth for yourself.

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