The Survivors of the Wedding
I stand uncertain in the aisle, while
impatient brides brush past me,
giddy with power, anxious to make a promise
that even Jesus didn't dare.
Oh, they go off like bombs!
and the wedding guests drink desperately
in hopes of being a little less flammable
when the conflagration, congregation
begins. But wait. A solemn girl of nine
chooses me to dance with her.
She alone holds out her hands: understands
that this moment is all about clothes
and a measured twirling. It's you, who think
it's about love and family, who
have it wrong. You
have it backwards. I lack words --
I am glad for the first time today
that my shoes are polished. We dance
gravely, the girl and I: my bow
and her courtesy
are maybe the only things
that will survive this day intact.