Turtle on a Swing

Tell me again how I will be
okay without a shell, outside myself,
with you. Let me feel your hands

behind me, offer of new carapace –
wind in my face, my own legs pumping,
even with the monkey bars, the slide,

swinging up and back, pendulous
affection: suspended, held, released.
Loose is not my way, but you

lift me up like all we have to do is
anchor a ladder against your
heart and climb, and beauty

will be waiting, rich and full,
enough to forgive a world its
roughness. Forgive me,

attached as I am to shelter.
Believe me when I say I want to try.