This One's For the Girls

I think that we’ve killed romance.

It used to be you had real romantics.
Casanova, Shakespeare.
You could read a girl a sonnet or kiss her hand without having a restraining order taken out.
Flowers were plucked into lush bouquets
Not pixilated into e-mails.
When you danced with someone, you gazed into their eyes
Not their cleavage.
And grinding was something you did to wheat, not someone’s hips.

Those were the days, of handkerchiefs and batted eyes
Of calling cards and hands held on the side.
When love was dangerous and secretive.
The golden days before Internet.

But like so many have tried bringing sexy back
I will rekindle romance.

Me
The lesbian.

But for the ladies
I could be manly.

Waxed black mustache that would make Poirot jealous, a sweeping black cloak a la Three Musketeers.
Red rose in hand
I would sidle up beside them.
“Ladies.”
Kissing hands and bowing low
Murmuring phrases in Romeo Italian.
Being all that I see lacking
For one small moment.

But girls these days
They don’t get romance.
And sure as the Pope wants me burned at the stake
They’d have tossed me out on my ear.
Literally.

“Ms Reese!”
They’d scream.
“We found a pervert!”

Volleyball players are so sensitive.

Ms Reese
May your god bless her soul.
Tough enough to brave a talk with the girl afraid to spike a ball
Or the one who appears gender-confused.

“Hon, the Constitution says you have the right to express yourself.
But not in the Varsity locker room.”
She’d size me up
Looking for the dilated pupils to deem me an incapacitated pothead
And finding that
No
I wasn’t high
Just crazy.

“Maybe you should go see Paul.”

Ah yes
The guidance counselor.
These urges of mine to relive the Renaissance might require medication.

Bushy eyebrows
An English accent
A refusal to act like a teacher.
These are the reasons Paul’s office fills up.
He’d look at me
Eyebrows knitted
And exhale slowly.

What’s the best way to broach this subject and still remain my “bro”?

“So...”
Perhaps he’d stall
Offering me one of his Chewy bars
Like sugar and oats will allow me to bare my soul.

“I heard you got into a spot of trouble with Ms Reese.”

Well, rather.

He’d fumble for a moment, muttering phrases
Cleaning his glasses
Trying to comprehend the girl who thinks she’s Antonio Banderas.

“I...That’s really a lovely moustache.”

Maybe I’d take pity on him.
I’d lean forward
Man to man
Guy talk.
“Listen, Paul.
I appreciate what you’re trying to do
And I respect the things you stand for.
But if you really want to help me
The best thing you could do is buy me some really high class porn.”

There are many ways to determine a man’s character.
By the kind of car he drives
Or the way he treats kittens.
I would judge Paul’s by his next actions –
Whether he reached for a straitjacket or his wallet.

Ms Reese
Paul
World
Here’s what you don’t see.
I’m not trying to pick up chicks
To see Varsity Volleyball naked
To start a rebellion of penis-hating lesbians.

I’m doing it for these broken girls.

These girls who were asked out in a text message
Dumped on Facebook
These girls who see their exes going to the furthest base possible while still in clothing
With some girl they met yesterday
In the halls between 3rd and 4th period.
These girls who had dreams of Prince Charmings on ponies
Whose hands sweated stickily at middle school dances, waiting for a careless
“Want to dance?”
That meant all the world.
These girls who are slammed down by Four-Loko hookups
And left all alone while their bed sheets cool.

What you have to realize is
I’m not doing this for me.
These ancient acts
These obsolete rituals
No.
I’m not breaking my heart because balcony scenes are good Friday-night fillers
I’m not wasting my time because rejection is uplifting.

I’m trying to remind these girls that they are
Beautiful.

Comments

RebeccaYSPerez

I loved reading this piece, truly. Growing up I too, dreamt of my prince charming. Over time, just like most girls, I've given up on these pipe dreams and started to believe I'm not going to find my handsome man in his shinning knight's armor; only boys wrapped in tin foil. So I really do want to thank you for your dedication to romance. I'm so curious as to how you gained this sense of it though. Was it Disney movies, books? Or was it soemthing you just grew up with?

The poem itself is structured very well; it's bitingly witty and amazing. But what happened with Paul? What did he end up choosing?

Becca.

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