Melissa McGraw

How to Avoid Falling in Love

Approach pubs, convenience stores and acquaintances with stealth. Smile. Not a watermelon grin, but the shy curve of a plantain. Only sweeter.

Say yes. Offer your body as a gift. Expect him to want the receipt, the inevitable return. But first: your digits, the barcode of his 2 a.m. scan. A hey you text in backlit black sans. Your casual detour on the drive home.

Avoid brunch, his friends, your friends and coffee—never coffee. There are no souvenirs, no songs or secrets. You open your own doors. You know when to keep them closed.

Do not mind the silence, the space between. Embrace the stillborn beauty. Move on.

Melissa McGraw earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Carroll University. Her poems have appeared in Anthills, Arbor Vitae, RE/VERSE, The Shout, Century, and Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar. She received an honorable mention in the Wisconsin People & Ideas 2013 Poetry Contest. Melissa lives in Madison, seeking aesthetically pleasing adventures.

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