I pull away.

Written by Alma Claire / Art by Cinzia Cioffi

I feel you pull me closer and lean in,

and the way my cheeks flush in that god awful cringe;

the way your lips come close to mine before

I pull away and there is no ‘us’ anymore.


Please, don’t hate yourself for the way that I am,

the way I flinch at the touch of another’s hand,

the way I shrink from the glow of lover’s land,

the way I retreat and shut down whenever I can…


Please, do not think that I do not love you,

because if it were only love then I’d know what to do.

If it were only love and not that soft space in-between,

the grazing of skin and the lying on sheets,

the holding of gazes and the kissing of feet,

the ‘show me your darkness and I’ll show you mine’

the ‘tell me you love me’ and the slowing of time,

if it were only love then you could be mine…


but the world wants me to be intimate and I do not know how

to fall into your arms and let my walls down

so instead I must push you away somehow 

so that I can escape –

give you the chance to escape the mistake

that is me.


I feel you inhale before you say those words that November afternoon,

the ‘I think I might be falling in love with you’

and then I feel my throat tighten and my stomachs sink to the floor,

I feel myself pull away and there is no ‘us’ anymore.

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