How to Write Love Songs

By: Hannah Schmidt

You are the reason for the teardrops on my guitar

The only thing that keeps me wishing on a wishing star

For the 10 year old in a purple sparkly plaid skirt from Justice, this was it,

This was the encyclopedia of feelings, the almanac of love,

But now I’m not so sure.


Teardrops and guitars are too simple,

Too mid-afternoon blue,

Too jumping through puddles,


Because you,

You threw me out like the venti hot chocolate you drank half of on our last date.

I was too rich

Too big to finish

My complexities burned your tongue, so you let them go lukewarm and papery,

You could only take me in when you were really in the mood.


So now when my mom tells me to write a love song she can play in the car,

I can’t.

I can only engrave cursive onto notebook pages ,

A tattoo of you that’s supposed to help me move on even though it’s all spelled out right there,

Every time we let the car windows fog up because we talked for so long,

Every time you shocked me with your brown eyes.


And every time I have to sing it I’ll remember your fire-building hands,

The roar of your laughter,

The sitting too close and lingering too long,

And I don’t want to remember.


The scars that protect me haven’t yet formed,

There’s still puss oozing from stitches sewn on in a rush to avoid even greater disaster,

They haven’t turned white with age,

They’re still red.


When my sister instated “Old Taylor Tuesdays” on the car ride home

I thought I could go back to the girl who sang all of “Fearless” on repeat as loud as she could,


You are the reason for the teardrops on my guitar

The only thing that keeps me wish– I can’t go back.


But maybe,

One day,

The scars and tattoos and hot chocolate memories will fade,

And I’ll learn how to write a love song.