How to Fall in Love in Less Than Seven Days, or
How to Scare Potential Love Interests Off with Your Intensity
Talk to her non-stop after you match on Tinder.
She is a bibliophile / perpetual nelipot / lover of poetry and water,
like you. / She is a serial liker of things / and you
really like her. You are equally excitable,
soon have inside jokes
about having zero chill.
Set up a date as soon as possible,
and then make it sooner.
Send her voice notes. / Listen. / Try
to ignore the stuttering / in your chest / at the sound / of her voice.
Admit that her giggle is the best / thing since Brandi Carlile sang The Story.
Send her cute selfies / pictures of puppies. / Feel your cheeks /
flush and / your muscles stretch / when she does the same.
Tell her your secrets.
Paint yourself vulnerable,
your scars on display.
Let her open the gallery
of her heart for you to view too.
Check off every box
of your soul mate list
with her name.
Spend 5 hours talking.
It’s the most natural thing
you have lived.
Spend an hour doing.
Immediately ask her when
you can see her again.
Her freckles are the map
guiding you home.
She wears a world
on a chain around her neck
and you feel your world
chained to her; the dream
of it so tangible
you can taste the ocean breeze
of her on your tongue,
Lose your mind in the days
of her silence that follow
your nakedness in a paragraph of text.
Start to hate yourself,
Let her tell you she is only looking
for something casual.
Watch the world you’d built in your mind
Cry. / Scream. / Walk. / Forget / to eat. /
Wish / you could / forget / to breathe. /
Pick yourself back up.
You dream of her still
and write too many love poems
into almost existence.
Melissa Sussens is a queer veterinarian and poet from South Africa. Her work has appeared in Capsule Stories, Anti-Heroin Chic, Horse Egg Literary and Germ Magazine, among others and she was runner up for the New Contrast National Poetry Prize. She lives in Cape Town with her fiancée and their two dogs and can be found on Instagram @melissasussens and on Twitter @girlstillwrites.