I

Oh you were such a good sport

Until pretty recently, 

bulldozing my way through fear

 had been a survival tactic 

And you tried to let me work through it

Right there in the middle of the Cheesecake Factory

Over the driest club sandwich I’ve ever eaten

But I do not know how to be charming

while my amygdala is telling me

that dinner is some kind of emergency

 

II

Woah woah woah,

Easy, Tiger.

I understand what you’re asking me for,

but that is not my style.

Flattering, though.

I’m not going to pretend

I didn’t consider it.

No, the problem is

I did consider it

and then I couldn’t breathe.

 

III

You have smoked every cigarette on earth

right before you asked me to dance.

You showed me the steps, how to frame up.

“You hate me,” you said,

which created the tension to let you lead.

“You hate all men” you said,

but I don’t, I don’t.

It’s just, this is a lot of eye contact 

And a lot of…contact-contact

“Look up here, not at my chest” you said.

But I was looking further down—

NO NO YOUR FEET I MEANT YOUR FEET

It was all I could do not to bolt from the dance floor,

trembling from your polite, terrifying charm.