Sorry, Ma’am, the test results are in.

We regret to inform you

you’re allergic to love. But you must’ve

noticed the symptoms, a stoic

out of her time: the way you

resist recoiling

at the touch of a stranger, a friend,

your mother? You endure love

rather than return it,

wait out its monsoons, and

begin planting again

in the silence of its passage.

What? So practical! Didn’t you hear…

But, of course. You would be.

An antihistamine to start, and

Perhaps some time alone? How long? Well,

that depends. Would you like

to love again?

Ah.

In that case,

as long as you like. And do let me know

how the antihistamine is working.