how to be a heartbreaker

after Marina and the Diamonds


1) find your way to her front porch as June dissolves like salt water in soda. convince her parents that you are a Good Girl, a positive force, sun trapped in skin. now be none of those things.


2) say yes when she invites you inside her house, and draw parallels between those walls and hers. when she drags you into paper towel discourse, laugh, but not at her. never at her. understand that deflecting the world adds up.


3) grow close to her like the sun choking a violet. so natural nobody sees it sneaking up the vine. touch her cheek on occasion. brush pinkies and smirk when breath catches in throats. pen terrible fanfic. let her to berate you. then write more. straighten your hair until she can’t breathe. wear red lipstick. just barely miss her mouth.


4) be tangible, but only just. a theory more than a law of probability. a secret at best, hers in all else. sing loudly in the car. debate if that’s a rock or a turtle on the road as you scream Taylor Swift lyrics. bring the whole family into this philosophical debate. throw pebbles at it through the sky roof and laugh as it remains stagnant like the last 9 months.


5) kiss her cheek under the moon and run before she can even process it. use this as a future model for how you both handle conflict. hold her hand at the grocery store even when people stare. make up fake accents in the pasta aisle. constantly flirt. in a joking way of course. if the thought of you together is so funny, just wait for the punchline.


6) memorize her coffee order, not only at Starbucks but at every coffee chain she’s ever frequented. draw little hearts on your fingers because she likes to doodle. hold her when she’s sick. kiss her on the nose. hand feed her sweet potatoes while you trace lips to teeth. swap jackets just to smell like each other. glue on a pair of wings and call yourself her guardian angel. then realize even lucifer was.


7) kiss her on December 13th when the world stops. curl into her side as she promises it won’t change your friendship. don’t laugh when she says you can be both. she still can’t handle ridicule. listen to blue by Troye Sivan and realize you are better for her than the girl in Boston. promise yourself this time it will be different. (it’s the first one you break.)


8) decorate the Christmas tree with her family. hang ornaments on branches and the moon in her eyes. laugh when “I kissed a girl” comes on and don’t explain why.


9) double text a certain phone while she’s at her grandmother’s. tell her you didn’t kiss her because she’s unobtainable. say you aren’t just the foil to her anti-hero. write until you don’t. lie.


10) take off her shirt and run your hands across clavicle, then down. bite her neck. don’t draw blood at first. treat her as she is: an animal, a means to an end, something to photograph and then move on from.


11) break her heart: in a Florida airport where she can’t lash back at you. a fistful of telephone wires in your clenched hand.  leave her as airport turns into holding cell for emotions. don’t read off her rights. love her as a girl, as a body, as a lawyer, but never all three.


12) break her heart: when you tell her everything you’ve been through. the scars. the finger prints. how his name still messes you up in therapy. the court sentence. what is it, six years?


13) break her heart: as you lead her on for the second time. don’t break up with your boyfriend. almost kiss her in the pool. almost kiss her at the movies. almost kiss her on your front porch. pull her underwater instead.


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