How to Tell a Man You Love Him When You Don't
Write it in a letter followed 
by the word “but”. Or, tell him 
you’ve never loved a man 

like you love him, which is true, 
because you don’t. At Christmas, 
think hard about the right gift, 

one that will send the message 
that you’re searching for: a garden hose, 
a frying pan. Something 

that says nothing. Because that’s 
what you’re saying with your body 
when your mouth stops moving. 

It doesn’t matter why you don’t 
love him, or even if you never did. 
All that matters is that you don’t 

let it slip. If he takes you in his arms 
and asks what’s wrong, think 
hard about another kind of gift: 

when you answer, look just beyond 
his shoulder, or turn your back. 
Say nothing which is true.

ANDREA ROGERS is a musician and Ph.D. Poetry student at Georgia State University, where she is an Advanced Teaching Fellow. She is the recipient of the 2015 Agnes Scott Writers’ Festival Poetry Prize, judged by Tracy K. Smith, and two Academy of American Poets awards. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in POET SOUNDS (Lo-Fi Poetry Series Anthology covering The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds), Exit 271: Your Georgia Writers Resource, Negative Capability Press's Georgia Poetry Anthology, StoneRiverSky, and Red Paint Hill's Mother is a Verb Anthology; her nonfiction and interviews appear in Boog CityTreehouse, and The 11th Hour. She and her band, Night Driving in Small Towns, have been featured by Rolling Stone and NPR. 

The Adirondack Review