I don't think I'm ready to talk to you.

It could be that I'm afraid of something.

Well, it must be that I'm afraid of you.

But when I hunt for fear behind my eyes,

I find black slate, or maybe it's marble.

The fear, though fear is a weak word for it,

threads with a bodkin, into my abdomen, 

and coils back out.  It's the knot that pulls

us to tomorrow, slings us past our gifts,

and drags us through undiagnosed diseases.

If I'm afraid, I'm afraid of the future,

of you, on the far end of this ribbon,

tired of pulling, with something else to do.

originally published  in The Denver Quarterly