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advice to you for your next lover

by Lauren Singer

when you find yourself
curtailing the illusions
that you are not good enough
in lieu of falling in with a new lover,

i want you to think of me.

when you trace your tongue
down the contours of her jaw
and hold her fists heavily down
to the bed,
i want you to remember the way
i tasted.

when you cover with the blue
scarf that you took from my top drawer
the raised bruises of her plump lips,
i want you to remember that
you once wore them shamelessly when they were mine.

when she spars herself for fear that
she is losing you and changing still,
i beg you to be kind to her
and offer her a drink.

when you are by yourself
and thinking of her next to you,
buy her silly gifts she cannot compare to roses.

and when she cries to you
that she cannot contain the way
you make her feel, and that she cannot sleep
or speak or eat without your will to urge her
do not hasten this to feeble girls who pine.

remember my foolish decrees against you,
that your hot/cold love was fever to my blood
and it hurt to be around you.
remember your hand around the top of my knee
when you said you couldn't lose me.

remember the ache in your dead chest
when i told you that my back burners didn't
have the fuel to wait for you.

do not tell her that you need
to 'sort things out'.
take her in your arms as you once did me
and breathe into her clavicle that you are sorry.
press yourself upon her, and spend the night against her.

and if you leave her,
tell her it's because you do not want her.
that you do not find her attractive.
that you want nothing to do with her.

do not walk away from her
saying that you love her.
that you're not enough for her.
and that you cannot take it.

because it is killing me.


Posted on 10/08/2009
Copyright © 2021 Lauren Singer

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Elle O'Connor on 01/12/10 at 01:20 PM

Seriously, lady. What can I say that I havent already said? You continue to amaze me with your talent...you continue to find just the right twist to make me painfully envy your ability to write.

Posted by Michael Smith on 01/13/10 at 03:00 AM


Well, obviously I have some catching up to do on your library from the last few years, because this is a different Lauren Singer than I remember -- not in terms of talent, not in terms of brazenness, but the style... and a certain sort of maturity. You know I love you, girl, and if you don't, hit me up for a chat.

Posted by Ken Harnisch on 01/13/10 at 05:10 AM

Seasoned, mature, jaded and beautiful...All are your poems and the talent that produces them and my long-held belief the poetess who frames them as well

Posted by Allison Smith on 01/13/10 at 07:43 AM

An instant favourite. I loved it.

Posted by Amie Golda on 01/14/10 at 03:20 AM

You produce really strong impact with your words though they are nothing complicated. Instead you write with simple words that have strong, identifiable emotion and sting with imagery and boldness that is to be envied.

Posted by Laurie Blum on 01/14/10 at 01:33 PM

This... is F'ing AWESOME!! The words you use to describe the pain are just like arrows through my heart, I feel everyone. "your hot/cold love was fever to my blood" <- YES!! I know this..and as the poem builds and each stanza becomes more powerful, you make me tearful. What am I talking about this entire poem is so eloquent and meaningful. This is a favorite of mine now! Great poem Lauren. GREAT!

Posted by Therese Elaine on 01/15/10 at 06:48 PM

I know...it's a pain that consumes and kills and yet seems to never end...the ultimate kind of cruelty. God what a piece you've done -and what courage you have.

Posted by Clara Mae Gregory on 01/16/10 at 07:45 PM

Excellently written and oh so intense.

Posted by Tony Whitaker on 01/17/10 at 05:33 AM

lauren, how many of us can reate to this? Powerful write!

Posted by Steven Kenworthy on 01/17/10 at 07:46 PM

i'm going to skip over the poem and say that there is NO ONE else out there like you. don't ever try to tweak your style...or change it. it's yours. you're sharper than a wolf's grin.

Posted by V. Blake on 01/18/10 at 09:00 AM

You have this incredible ability to put things into a perspective no one else in the world has probably ever even remotely considered. It's like stepping into a twisted version of Being John Malkovich every time I read one of your poems.

Posted by Nanette Bellman on 01/19/10 at 06:44 AM

I've often thought of myself as a girl who could take down any man, but you darling, most definetly can.

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