Matthew DeGroat: “You Should Probably Date Me”

Matthew DeGroat, “You Should Probably Date Me,” 2021 Jack Grapes Poetry Prize Finalist selected by Judge Alexis Rhone Fancher

This marvelous, quirky poem held me in sway from the first reading. Funny, poignant and self-deprecating, the poem made me laugh out loud. When I went deeper, I was impressed with the craft and language of the poem. It totally knocked me out.

— Alexis Rhone Fancher


You Should Probably Date Me

I like coffee
and breezy twenty-three degree
I dislike mutant viruses
and injustice
and money

I like money
and sex and whisky
in abundant moderation
my perfect first date:
an international airport
a gin and tonic and a lime
a smoking section
a reclining seat with some
extra legroom and some
Dostoevsky to make me laugh
then and a kiss
on the neck with
the smell of
the ocean
and you

nights in nights out
a cozy five hundred year old pub
with outdoor seating (of course)
you’re active
I’m funny
you’re contagious
I’m recovering
five foot eleven
angry and disappointed with myself
probably allergic
to your cat

What are you looking for?