Roses by Family O’Abe on Flickr Creative Commons

Trevor always said I could get anything at the dollar store.
This 14th, all I really wanted was a arm wrapped around me at night.
He said I was in luck. “They’ve got a potion.”
He picked me up at seven, and we drove straight to town.

Right there in the midst of candles, hearts, and plastic flowers galore,
Above the cards, and cupids, and candy packed airtight,
(Who are we kidding? Everything is opened, from candy to lotion.)
Sat a bottle so tiny, so bright, at the top a tiny purple crown.

“Guaranteed to make your lover stay forever,
Promised to gleefully meet your mom,
Always will take out the trash,
And help you to your car.”

“This is it?” I asked a stuffed animal laden Trevor.
He nodded and prompted me to drink from the drum.
So I twisted the cap, and crossed my fingers for no skin rash.
And when the flask was empty, I noticed the fine print on the jar.

“I love you.” As ominous as a comet crashing into your house.
The words dripped, the print no longer romantic,
And Trevor disappeared around the corner after a redhead,
Just as the bottle fell to the floor. “I’ll never leave you alone.”

A blinking eye.

Drip.

A patchwork man slid from the bottle, as fast as a snake after a mouse.
Growing larger with each passing breath, my heart frantic,
He hissed, then spoke as his mouth turned human, filling me with dread.
“Was there something you were waiting to atone?”

I backed into the boxes of last year’s popular Valentine stars,
I shook my head, violent and scarred memories coming to mind,
He smiled and stepped forward, now completely formed,
“Don’t be so frightened, I really am quite charming.”

“Not in the least,” I said, then yelled, “Trevor, get the car!”
“But I am,” Patches insisted. “Don’t run! You’ll put me in a bind!”
“You’ll love me, you’ll need me, you’ll be lost without me,” he warned.
But the way he chased me to the car, it was more alarming than charming.

We drove away, fast, the patchwork man chasing us, parts falling into the street,
I saw Bobby’s arm, and Paul’s smile, and Gerald’s receding hairline,
All scurrying to catchup, all clamoring to slide back as one without and within,
Trevor stopped at the light, as Donald, Michael, and Jarod’s arm, leg and eyes collected.

You really could get anything at the dollar store, a love potion no great feat,
As we left my old lovers decaying and patchwork loosening in the lot behind,
I closed my eyes, and promised myself in front of Trevor, “Never again will I feed my lovers poison,
Not from the dollar store anyway, if my dearly dissected will only chase me instead of staying rejected.”

 

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

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