When teleportation is invented,
it will be by a lover
who was separated
from his other.
Me trying to date other men has made me realize
what a fool I am for you.
They’re all the same in that
they’re not you.
I’d let you treat me anyway you wanted.
That’s not love,
it’s something darker.
The way you say my name is like a spell.
The way I say yours is a prayer.
When he tells you to unbutton your shirt, do it slowly.
Remember that champagne is stronger than it tastes.
Dig in the dirt with the fingernails you grew out to scratch his back.
Sacrifice worms and grasshoppers but light a candle in their honor.
Act more drunk than you actually are.
Get more drunk than you intend to.
Stop imagining your teeth becoming ungummed.
Stop imagining your hair becoming uprooted.
You are not a tree.
You are not a star.
You are not a bird.
You cannot sing.
Sing in the car, with the windows rolled down.
Ask him to grow his hair long enough for you to pull.
Scratch the hair on his belly to wake him up in the morning.
Stop wishing he would love you.
Drink two liters of water a day.
When your lips split, apply chapstick.
Soak in the bathtub until the water is cold.
Quit reading books about love.
Quit wanting love like the kind in books.
Quit buying tea cups and old records and knee high socks.
When he asks you to bend over, push him down.
When he offers you something sweet, lick a lime.
Tell no one.
Dye your hair pink.
Pierce your face.
When he asks why you are crying, tell a joke.
When he asks why you are crying, laugh.
When he asks why you are crying, leave.
by Amanda La Valley
Here are the rules
of not falling in love:
never kiss the same freckle twice,
never touch his face the same way,
the way you did the night he made love to you.
but that night,
my skin was an orange you peeled away,
licking the droplets of contained juice
inside tiny jewels.
Your back was smooth as water
and my fingers were stones dropping in,
sending ripples up your spine.
“you’re sweet” you whispered
and when I asked why,
you couldn’t tell me,
but I know.
When I was a kid we played a game
where we tied each other up
and watched while the other tried to get free.
The longer it took,
the more you won
because it meant you tied a good knot
around the other person,
you bound them right.
That’s what I think love is like.
Before I left that night you held your hand out to me from your bed and asked me to come swimming with you. I dove into your sheets, and we rode the waves to the shore. Jellyfish curtsied to your magnificence. Whales sang in honor of my beauty. The moonlight through the water was white dust. You whispered in my left ear, “Will you be my mermaid?” and I am still answering that question. I answer it every day, every night. With each breath, blink, sigh. I began falling in love with you that night and I am still falling, and that is how we work. That is our secret. You make me fall and I never hit the ground. I’m afraid the impact would wake me up, and darling, I wish to dream with you forever.