Home > Legacy Code, Ready for Prime Time > Conjugating the Pick-Up Line

Conjugating the Pick-Up Line

for S.D.

 This isn’t a come-on, but –
he says, and you wait for something so clichéd
there should be a grammatical case for it –
the unbelievable inevitable,
perhaps, or way past tension:
the sense it’s all been said before,
with better lines and timing.

You could have been a model,
he says, and you’d like
to believe him, but you think
I’m not the model you’re looking for.

So you cringe,
but not because of how you look in the mirror.
Between his lines, you see what
you’d earned the right to stop being –
the Waitress who Sits Down With her Customers,
the Loyal Friend Beside the Moving Van,
the Wife Who Wouldn’t Leave.

Call it the present since – you knew better.
Even if you’re still not sure how to say it,
it’s not this, whatever he thinks it is,
and when you say
Would you like to get out of here?

to his unspoken need, it’s only to say:
Then leave.

written sometime in the early 2000s

  1. April 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    ooo i like the present since….and i feel for her putting up with the lines and like her retort, esp there in the end…smiles.

  2. April 10, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Oh–I like the way this one feels! Cool write!

  3. April 10, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    this has an edge to it, same edge as someone gross trying to pick you up!!

    messy little girl

    • April 10, 2012 at 9:46 pm

      and i mean the edge is good…it depicts that feeling wellllll

  4. April 10, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    The italics work well, the combination of grammar and pick up lines is genius, using second person is effective, and the narrator is compassionate which all together makes this an awesome poem in my completely unqualified opinion.

  5. April 10, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    wow…really like this…and the closure just sums it up perfectly

  6. April 11, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Thanks everyone! I’ve always liked this one.

  7. April 11, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Love this. “between his lines you see what you’d earned the right to stop being…”

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