‘Shhh! We Met Online’

First, ground rules:
never write too much,
nor get to know a man by text.
Ensure you speak by phone
rather soon after you’ve ‘met’,

so you know if you’ll come to regret
that curious squeak in his voice.
Use a photo that makes you look twenty-four --
not more, not less.

Prepare for solicitations for ‘noons’.
Expect parties’ interest
from those old as your father,
young as your son.

But assume you’re not finding ‘The One.’
Pen Shakespearean flirts
as a weeding-out device --
for a man who can take on ‘forsooth’
will surely spring for the meal.
Assume what’s proposed is not real.

You will have to use the word ‘divorce’
even though it invokes
Seventies-era kaftans, Jackie O shades,
and, idling by various curbs, dark sedans.
You will have to dish
to some whom you’ve never known
dirt you won't tell your best friend.

Even if you’re used to the literal dress
of hey beautiful can I buy you a drink
presume that the virtual cloak
makes the timid bold and the bold
tiresome beyond belief.  If they demand

anything at all, invoke an enforced lull.
They’ll soon move to more fertile ground.
And, for the love of cordless mice,
if you find someone you can bear to kiss

whose beard doesn’t stab you in the face
or a handsome neck you can stand to sniff:
seek at once a second date.
Let the rest languish.

Rosemarie Koch

If you have any comments on this  poem, Rosemarie Koch would be pleased to hear from you.