To The Men I Date

Anamika Dutta

Listen to the Spoken Word version of this poem

***

“Hi there, beautiful! You’re gorgeous”

Thank you, I know! But, can we move past that?

Could you please tell me that I have a beautiful smile,

I have a mole in my eye.

Did you notice that my ears are quite small?

“You have an amazing body”

Oh! We’re there already!

I thought you’d like to know about my view on the current situation,

Perhaps, which documentary I’m watching on Netflix.

Do I have any pets?

“You don’t drink? You don’t smoke? No vices, you’re a good girl”

Because it shows discipline? It shows control?

“I don’t understand how you are single?”

Here we go again. You’re trying to figure out what’s wrong with me.

She’s too crazy? She’s too smart. She must be a pain in the arse? High standards? She looks uptight. What’s her issue?

And as you’ll hold my hand and look me in the eye,

I’m sure you won’t notice all the pain and how much I cry.

As I’m sipping my watermelon juice, your mind has wandered too far,

You’re waiting to finish the dinner ASAP and get in the car.

No! You didn’t ask me for a kiss when you grabbed my wrist, when your hands were on my waist…you didn’t think that you needed my permission.

If I gave in, I was just too tired.

Tired of waiting for someone who will not only love this face but also would like to know me instead.

No! I don’t want to be your one night stand.

If you had me for a night, you don’t really know who I am.

“It must be hard being so pretty, right?”

Yes! You have no clue because you make me think that’s all I am, I can be.

Married men with kids flirt with me, in front of their wives.

No! I don’t feel flattered. I feel sorry for them and not otherwise.

I wish you’d ask me “how does it feel to be you?”

I wish you’d say “I want to know you for who you are”

I wish you’d want to read my poems instead of going to the bar.

I wish you wouldn’t talk about making money and fast cars,

I wish you would want to lie down with me under the stars.

So much lies underneath this pretty face,

So much of heart under the black lace.

She wants to be called “princess,” she wants roses

No! She’s not a supermodel but she knows the poses.

She’s an academic. She reads a lot of books!

Well not that you’d see it besides, the looks!

So much she hides with that toughness,

She gets all teary-eyed watching puppy videos,

After a Disney movie, she’s a mess!

She makes the best English breakfast and tea

The Perfect Girl, that’s who she wants to be.

To the Men I Date, no, you probably don’t deserve me

If you couldn’t get past the face, now it’s too late.

I wish your texts would ask me more about my day,

I wish you’d ask me more questions and hear what I have to say.

One day! One will come back for the personality.

I know it’s too much to ask for, far from reality.

One will want to hear my speech when I win the Nobel Prize,

Till then it’s all fun and games; much pretending and a bunch of lies.

***

on YouTube

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