I like epithalamiums. Well--I like ironic epithalamiums. So I wrote one as part of my MFA thesis. And then I found another ironic one by Monica Ferrell that was published in the Missouri Review but can be found here. Ferrell's is succinct. Mine is not.
Night creaked about them like a game of chairs;
They looked for safety and again and again
Clung to the eroding island of each other.
Pale blue, their shipwreck eyes beseeched us
Like eyes of Christian martyrs at the circus—
Still, no one wanted to talk to the newlyweds.
The morning of my wedding day,
May and it’s raining in
suburbia. An hour ago
I tugged on the dress found
in the dumpster behind the welfare
hotel in East Boston
where a homicidal fiancé
killed his bride-to-be last
week. That case wasn’t mine – I got
the one next door – unemployed
mom, 5 kids and several deadbeat
dads we can’t find. I wait
in the rain now. The blood stain by
the left breast did not come
out with Woolite and gets deeper
and wetter but never
runs. I woke at 6, went for
a jog, then tried to fix
the rip in the bodice; could’ve covered
it with white sequins and pearls
and looked all girly-girl—used my
staple gun instead. No
veil—nothing to shield my face ‘til
that very last moment
of no turning back. My father
left before I was born.
If I find him in the next 5
minutes I could be his
to give away. Just a sports bra
and white cotton panties
beneath – no sexy underthings.
There’s the garter holding
my .38. Water streaks down
my face. I’m concentrating
hard on forgetting my last name:
how it sounds when the guys
at the station call out asking
if I watched the Red Sox
last night or if I’ll play shortstop
at Saturday’s softball
game against the Roxbury squad.
Tenants of my condo
complex peer out through paned windows
with strange stares. Quite a crowd
gathers for the ceremony.
And as I turn to walk
toward the rest of my life, they throw
Uncle Ben’s boxes on me.