Issue 159, Fall 2001
She sweated, sweated and swore.
She predicted a total eclipse
as if it were replenishing shade.
As if it were (all a bride's charm
presents itself as this) . . . narrative
elements twist and twirl, poison
sumac between palpable digit
and dumb luck; camp counselors
grin at the wind; merit badges
are awarded like sullen adoptees
to industrialists with blue blood.
But pieces are the poem, on ceremony,
submissive as homesickness. When
tipped-off waitresses and sea moons
sock us in, when steel poles hold
aloft groins of tent cloth, a bride
wants but an oath's worth (ringed, icy,
shear) so wonderful and so what.