I’m sorry to report
that the rose you gave me yesterday
is already dying. I don’t know
if it’s the oppressive heat,
or the fact that I gave it
Tylenol Migraine Headache
– bonus: it expired in 2011 –
instead of pure aspirin
in its water, but
it’s wilting fast
and will be defunct
rather sooner than

so you see, generic
romantic gestures
will fall flat with me. I’m so
anti-“romance” that I feel
giving me cut flowers
is basically like
handing me a freshly killed kitten
and saying “Here,
look how cute it was!
now keep its corpse
to decorate your home
with its lovely fur
until the body
starts to rot, then
throw it in the trash.”
flowers are living
beings and deserve better.
but don’t give me
potted plants, either –
they definitely deserve
better than to die slowly
under my black

I actively do not want
any of the following
from a suitor:
Valentine’s Day crap,
lingerie – I buy my own,
thanks, and
you’ll never get
the sizing right – or
expensive dinners. I will
accept chocolate
but it’s not a shortcut
to my heart, heart-shaped box

if you want a chance
at my affections, try sharing
something real and
meaningful, try giving me
your time and attention,
your art,
your saddest and
most pathetic memories,
your fears,
your dreams and nightmares, or
your secret shames.
tell me things
you’ve never told anyone
before. show me
your real self, that’s
way more winning
than anything mere money
can buy.

Published by

R. Brookes McKenzie

what fresh hell is this

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