Unrequited Love

An Italian sonnet with an ironic twist, inspired by the "screen lady" in Dante's Vita Nuova.


You caught me staring at you yesterday,
or so it seemed, for you—you smiled and blushed
and all your girlfriends giggled in the hushed
and stilted silence of the lecture. They

had to have seen me staring your way too,
slackjawed (old love has always been a child),
transfixed by beauty less demure and mild
than ardent and chaotic. Seeing you,

I curbed my furtive glances (or I tried to),
and flirted with the lecture now, instead—
what was it our instructor spoke about?
The words I heard went in…and then right out.
For as you brushed your golden hair, ahead
I stared, past you, at her: the girl behind you.

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