Friday, January 25, 2019

Nuptials on a Variable-Message Sign

 I'm standing in the parking lot of the strip mall
wearing your wedding dress
listening to a corgi bark inside a locked station wagon
The clouds whip by like in a time-lapse film
Seagulls dive into the puddles of mouthwash
that dot the lumpy asphalt,
their beaks no longer reeking of anchovies
Across the street they’re clearing the field of stumps
to build another strip mall
even though this one is abandoned save
for a nail salon and a check cashing place
and a drive-through Wendy’s
The bridesmaids smoke behind the dumpsters,
occasionally removing their heads and swapping them
back and forth out of boredom.
The priest has arranged orange traffic cones
in the shape of a cross, though we asked him not to.
Days have passed and you still haven't shown up
I knew I shouldn't have lent you my tux
with the Houdini sleeves, chances are
you're still at home, struggling to get out the door,
trying to turn that milky glass doorknob with your teeth
while I gaze down at the concrete ring I bought you
with its huge hunk of 24 karat gravel
and absently pat the hand truck I bought
to help you wheel it around
our names engraved in flowering script
across the handle, mine intentionally misprinted
in a private joke which only one of us remembers
The bulldozers and backhoes rumble back and forth
across the street 
The years rumble past as well. 
The bridesmaids have gotten fat on Wendy’s 
and we buried the priest some time ago, there was no one
to say the eulogy
but that Corgi’s still yapping the back seat
of the station wagon, I don’t know how,
and I’m thinking I’m not going to get
that deposit back on the space beneath the underpass
we rented for the reception

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