The Social Experiment, or, That Time I Did Internet Dating

Bachelor number one wears
shiny black shoes, and
dyes his hair to match.
He explains things to me that
I already understand, and
tells me the way things are, and
starts sentences with “Girls don’t…”
Unsurprisingly,
he drives a car with tinted windows and
a low belly. I am blunt
fearless
even cutting
and yet he phones, as
I knew he would.

Bachelor number one receives a polite
I’m just not that into you
and is never heard from again.

Bachelor number two is
a fist to the stomach
a slow fire across my skin
a feeling to write home about.
Bachelor number two is gorgeous
articulate
gorgeous
intelligent
gorgeous
dangerous
gorgeous
physically imposing, and he’s got
that swagger, that goddamn
swagger
my heart fears while my body
remembers

Bachelor number two also
wants to send me photos of his genitalia.
Bachelor number two and I are
no longer in contact.

Bachelor number three has
a lovely phone voice
a sound financial history
family values and
appalling spelling.

Bachelor number four is compassionate
tall
talkative
with a smile that splits his face in two cheerful halves.
He writes text messages that are too long, and
drives a big car, and
makes me feel safe, except that
I fear he’s a low-budget remake
of a film I’ve seen before, and
let’s face it
why get knocked over when you’ve
already been blown up?

Bachelorette number one learns
almost as much as she set out to. She is
enticing on paper
unafraid in person
analytical in private
up to the challenge
possessed of a knack for conversation
an interest in people
a smile that seems to get results.
She is also
picky
terrified
arrogant
uncertain
out of her depth
and thinks she might just
get a dog
and a piano
and a library
instead.

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