Poetry by Michaela A. Gabriel • Photo by Jill Burhans

a man's guide to winning a woman's heart

snoopy pyjamas do not detract from
sex appeal. it's not in lace-edged nighties,
see-through bras but in her eyes, a wayward
strand of hair. accept the invitation.

contrary to popular belief in locker rooms,
the taste of I love you on male palates will not
poison the speaker, corrode his reputation.

put piece after piece of chocolate on your
tongue. you must understand their texture
if you want to choose the perfect one for
each of her moods, mild to murderous.

do not watch a game on consecutive evenings
unless you want to risk cannonades of questions
beginning with why, ending in slammed doors.

support sulking. like poetry, it is one way
of artistic expression. the arc of pouty lips,
hunched shoulders, onomatopoeic non sequiturs
are well thought out, never coincidental.

tears don't demand emergency plans, sober
analyses. you can't prove your wisdom through
words that will merely drown in pools at her feet.

bring flowers, but never yellow roses.
her smile will freeze as the message sinks in -
petals spell out I love you less, bright and
without a doubt, hinting at infidelity.

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