Sad Girl Sonnet #15 I leave museums too fast like the men in the morning— no coffee, maybe a kiss on the cheek, sometimes I’ll call you. I stroll by Michelangelo paintings, some da Vinci, whole rooms of Botticelli. Still, there is no limit to my dissatisfaction with the world. Nothing feels right, throat burning. I want to go home. I text the man I’ve been fucking. I want to love him but he probably won’t let me. I leave Italy in a month. Sugar has lost all taste, pasta is so yesterday. But when he kissed me at the very door of Santa Croce, a bit of the Holy Ghost passed through me, escaped onto my tongue. And he swallowed it. It’s gone. My possessed and tormented soul. Or maybe it’s still here, in my pocket. The phone buzzes so I pretend it’s you. You’re on your way home from work and you ask: Should I pick up a chicken from Whole Foods?
Sad Girl Sonnet #18 The summer I moved to New York was the summer of BV: bacterial vaginosis. I wanted to blame the subway platform heat. Or the new silk underwear I bought to feel like Carrie Bradshaw, my true Sex and the City moment, and here was BV, stinky BV, me and BV at my fourth visit to the health center already. I want to blame a dick. But I don’t know whose to blame. I could blame my pussy, her distorted rainbow of brown, deeper brown, pink, red, and purple. She’s so innocent. At lunch, the Italian molds a pussy out of ham, prosciutto cotto drizzled in oil, sprinkled with salt and ground pepper. Ham pussy is on a fresh slice of bread, ham pussy doesn’t move when he places her in his mouth, when he bites. She’s so quiet and respectful. I’m almost jealous.
From the Author: The series of poems I have lovingly named “Sad Girl Sonnets” is a group of 25 breakup sonnets written during my time in Florence, Italy. Heartbroken from a messy split, I turned to the page, as most poets do. What started off as a healing exercise soon became an intense study (and play!) of the sonnet form. I wanted to take the spirit of Petrarch and place it into the mind and body of a 21st century woman—and behold Sad Girl was born. From courtly love to Tinder, enter the world of the modern experience. What results is a dignified depravity, a raw consciousness preoccupied with love, loss, and the limitations of language. The sonnets allowed me to discuss desire, sexuality, mental illness, and the nuances in between with that of a female’s perspective. She is a raunchy, clear-eyed participant within her world, painfully self-aware. No subject is off limits for Sad Girl. She is sarcastically vulnerable, sometimes (all of the time) self-indulgent in her sadness. However, she should not be mistaken for an archetype of the desperate woman. Sure, there is desperation, yet she is fully realized and complex. There is more to her experience than the lost love. Within her are the multitudinous layers of living a life wrought with different pains. We are all Sad Girls.
Diannely Antigua is a Dominican American poet and educator, born and raised in Massachusetts. Her debut collection Ugly Music (YesYes Books, 2019) was the winner of the Pamet River Prize and a 2020 Whiting Award. She received her MFA at NYU where she was awarded a Global Research Initiative Fellowship to Florence, Italy. She is the recipient of additional fellowships from CantoMundo, Community of Writers, Fine Arts Work Center Summer Program, and was a finalist for the 2021 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship. Her poems can be found in Poem-a-Day, The American Poetry Review, Washington Square Review, The Adroit Journal, and elsewhere. For more information visit https://diannelyantigua.com.