by Giovanni Mangiante

My first love’s name
was Isabel. I was 3 years old.
she had bright green eyes
and a bowl haircut.

I never talked to her,
and after the year was over,
I never saw her again
at kindergarten.

I’m 25 years old now,
and throughout my life I’ve encountered
other Isabels
who went away as swiftly
as the first one did
back in 1999,
and much like my 3-year old
I stood confused
and babbling
like a complete idiot waiting
for one of them to stay.

I am still waiting. I don’t know what for:
if waiting for another Isabel,
or just waiting for someone to stay,
but I’m still waiting nonetheless.

PAINTING: Dona Isabel de Porcel by Francisco Goya (1806).


Giovanni Mangiante is a poet from Lima, Peru. He has work published in Newington Blue Press, Rusty Truck, The Daily Drunk, Anti-Heroin Chic, Heroin Love Songs, Rat’s Ass Review, Three Rooms Press, and more. He has upcoming work in The Piker Press. In writing, he found a way to cope with BPD. Visit him on Facebook and Twitter.