My condescending friends but smiled in sympathy and shame,
That I had not selected someone slightly prettier;
They didn’t know I hoped I’d trade my name
For something somewhere back inside of her.
Around her I was awkward, quiet, cold,
Sweet agonies like a grey and graveless ghost,
Or else too loud, impressing her with manly noise,
That was but adolescent, clumsy bold
Bravado that at best but bores, annoys,
And at its worst tells people you’re unsure
Of love and life, and of yourself the most.
And so I struggled silly through the pure
I harried friends to make them see her charm—
They changed the subject with their half-amused alarm.