Anastasia Simms

Please don’t exist
because you will tempt
my unbuttoning.
If I come unbuttoned,
the twenty extra pounds
I didn’t want to gain
will spill out of my clothes,
the trauma
I didn’t want to gain
will spill out of my clothes,
all my insecurities

and when you see the mess pooled
on the sheets surrounding me,
you will turn and run
and I will be left there alone
lying among other
potential worst-case scenarios
I have convinced myself
will happen if I try again.

So please don’t exist because
you will touch me innocently
in the most innocuous places
not realizing that you are
pressing on my heart.
I hid the pieces
outside my chest
for safekeeping
after it was broken.
You will smile
because you won’t know
anything happened,
and I will smile
pretending nothing did
while my heart races

Please for my sake, don’t exist
because I can take all the abuse
you might throw my way
but God, I won’t be able to take it
if you are nice to me.
God, please don’t be nice to me.
You will crack me
open like an egg
if you are nice to me.
Then I will cry
and I can’t cry
because I will crack
and I can’t crack
because I will—

just don’t fucking exist!
If you do
I will convince myself
you will never love me
because you’ll be like
everyone else
who stopped texting back
or worse,

be like the one who didn’t,
and texted at four in the morning saying
please keep me alive
clean me with your sweat
i will rub my dirt all over you
let me eat your soul
i’m hungry
and oh no

No! We can’t have that.

You cannot exist.

Because what if you’re not like that,
and you just don’t want me?