Love Riot: A Manual

How to Get a Date
File your nails to points. Salve your mouth where the bit has chafed it; paint it red and make sure it is wet. Display all your teeth when you smile; think wolf, think pussycat. Seek out ferns that match your irises, then stand next to them.

How to Be the Best Man
Clip holes in the hedge maze. Sew the ring box into your trouser pocket. Remind everyone about the time you stole your father’s boat and sailed out among the islands for two weeks of puffins and cider and campfires; don’t mention it was snow-spattered or the girl went back to where she came from or you sailed back with your fists covering the compass in the hope you would accidentally sail out across the ocean.

How to Be a Wedding Singer
Move your fingers across the keys faster than necessary. Look up the bridesmaid’s sleeves. Remind yourself that they’re motherfuckers anyway, and every single one of these motherfuckers is going to remember your name, oh yes motherfucker. Try to subtly insert the word motherfucker into “The Way You Look Tonight.”

How to Be the Mother of the Groom
Start fires.

How to Be a Bride
Let the grass grow up between the floorboards. Empty your father’s shot- gun. Shore up your breasts like they’re a riverbank about to collapse. Paint and tuck and pluck, even though the lie has already been told. Do not be afraid to stutter.

How to Be a Groom
Never show your palms. Change the locks. Make an island of your bed. Remember the grit against your fingertips of the sea-salt stuck to her scalp; remember the bend of her toes and the sounds of sleep; remember the pink of the insides of her cheeks. Memorize.

Kirsty Logan writes, edits, teaches, and reviews books in Glasgow, Scotland. She has a semicolon tattooed on her toe. Get in touch at