What if, dizzy and low on sugar,
walking down the aisle, you get
overwhelmed by all you can’t
have – not the groomsmen
with their puckish smiles, not
the sweat of the neighbor’s body,
jogging in polyester shorts at 6 am,
or gathering fallen branches
from his yard late evening,
stopping to lift his cap and
wipe his brow? What if you’re
about to spend your life making
gallons of sweet tea and love,
and only one man holding out
a glass to you?
downed your first pour in a gulp,
the ice settled loud and hollow,
now you tilt the pitcher again.
What flows out of you as you
reach the altar, your groom
well hydrated and still thirsty,
the preacher smiling like to
eat you alive?
He keeps a swazzle in his mouth,
rage with a flourish, twist the words
if they don’t win over. That’s the way
to do it. If I’m a sharp-tongued woman,
I carved it on my teeth, biting back
bashings in favor of keep-love.
All day I’m punch-drunk, but at
night, the ceiling's dark stage
waits for us: clown-grimace
characters, a baby, a stick.
We kiss and dance, then
fight again. My puppets; I win.
1 Then the Lord cursed the serpent
to crawl on its belly, eat dirt.
And Adam was satisfied, but
felt a question start inside him.
2 The serpent said Revenge
and smiled, sliding by. Man
was learning the ways of God.
3 Later, God gave more laws,
marked more abominations:
snake, turtle, salamander,
mouse, weasel, mole.
4 Adam watched a hare,
tuck into the brush
of the forest to forage.
He thought of Eve, made
from dust. He considered
that when he looks for God,
he always looks up.