How to Lead Someone On by Christine Donat

How to Lead Someone On

Start with a delicious mixture of self-hate and fear of abandonment—
            one should not reduce the other.
Wait for November when the leaves have changed and you’re tired of
Waking up alone
It’s too cold, which makes you bored.
Think about getting out of bed but don’t until
You need to go grocery shopping.
Find him in the aisle of left-over Halloween candy—
            he’s probably cheap and has a sweet tooth
which makes him unattractive but good in bed.
Shut your mouth and flirt with your eyes until
You have his number—
be unsure that you actually want it.
Ask him easy questions like What’s your favorite color? and
Are you afraid of dying?
Pull information out of him like the sky does the sun

But don’t tell him anything about yourself
not your favorite color or
how much you think of death.
Pick a fight to make sure he cares
Then apologize by giving a syrup-detail about your life
be sure not to spill something too sugary.
Convince him to hate himself because you hate yourself
which makes both of you better in bed.
Appreciate his morning breath and favorite fall vegetable.
Want to be alone when you’re with him but need him when
You’re not.
Pick a bigger fight that’s the cork of a wine bottle—
You must open a wound you cannot close
            he’ll recover faster this way, after all, you did start to care about him
            when it was convenient.
Once your groceries have expired
Venture down the aisle of leftover turkeys 
Find a guy with a beard that likes Thanksgiving enough to have it again—
he’s probably a good cook
and doesn’t know you’re a vegetarian.


Christine Donat is from Stony Brook, New York. She gets her inspiration from self-analysis and the wonderful literature that surrounds the world.