Jo Cothren

Loving You Makes Me Afraid

Loving you makes me afraid to die
when I was so careless with my life before.
A past of unbuckled seat belts and unfinished antibiotics is all behind me.
As loving you fills me now with new neurosis.
This cough, that mole, those spots in my eyes
could be the thing that permanently robs me
of the feeling of sleeping next to you.

Loving you makes me want to believe in heaven
though I never liked the idea before.
The thought of continuing on forever is too big, too exhausting to contemplate.
And an eternity with me, my grandparents, and Jesus
sounds more lame than bliss.
But if heaven is the feeling of the heat of your chest on my back
your breath in my ear, the stubble of your cheek on my cheek. . .
If that was heaven, I’d start praying now.

© Jo Cothren

Jo Cothren is originally from Dallas, Texas, but now lives in the Northeast United States. She is a graduate student in linguistics, a lover of words, and a dog person. You can find more of Jo Cothren’s work in Acoustic Drive Magazine and Quail Bell Magazine, as well as on her blog at

Back to Main Loch Raven Review Site