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The Wedding Party

Updated: Jul 1

I.


“You have the glamour about you,” you say.

You’re sitting in a low wicker chair, smoking— like you’ve been waiting.

Your hair is pulled back, but a feather droops sideways

across your left eye. It bobs comically when you move.

“You’re brighter. That’s why you can’t sleep.”


I’m in corpse position, but I’m standing. It’s dusk and the warmth of the desert

is rosy-orange for miles in all directions. Slight mountains recline in the distance.

“Like starlet glamour?” I ask.


“No. Shine, like fairy glamour because you’ve been here more than most.”

You take a drag from your cigarette. The smoke billows large and exotic.

A raindrop-sized bell dings and you pull out a cell phone.

“It says here that your heart is bright. It glows like a star at the bottom of the North Sea.

You’re changing into something else.”

You look past me.


“A mermaid?” I laugh.


You reach your left hand to me. “Come. Sit.”

I sit cross-legged on the ground at your feet, a disciple, I guess.

“I know you’ve suffered,” you say. You place your hands on my head.

“Here.” Rest drapes me like a lace veil.


“Am I a ghost?” I half-joke.


“Yes and no,” you say. “More like a bride.”



II.


A memory like a dim house interrupts this magic.

The last time I saw you alive was at my first wedding, the one that failed.

A month later you left – jumped to fly, but you fell instead.


III.


“Remember, I used to say people looked like ants from a plane? It was like that.”

“I remember,” I say. “I remember everything.”


IV.


Smack, a bag of blood hitting cement. Then.


We’re sitting by a campfire in cheap aluminum folding chairs with green plaid

strips of fabric. You open two beers and hand me one. A dainty fifth-wheel slumps

behind you. It looks tired like a freshly-rescued mutt.


“So, you’ve been camped out here all along? I’ve sat by this fire in other poems.”


You sip from your beer, look down. By now, a dome of darkness cloaks the flickers.

“Yeah, it’s where I live now. Suicides— we don’t go to the silly place. We have work to do;

help the ones who died with us.


V.


“So, what’s next?” I ask.

“The wedding, of course.” You stand and pull me up

and up. We’re flying in an apple-green mist. Cool and sunny beams ring

through the clouds and we quiver. It feels like we’re dancing inside a bell.

“Over there. That’s the next place.” You point. We’re still flying.

A little green hamlet appears on the right. It’s doll-sized from where we are.


VI.


Here. This is the place. Whitest lilies perfume the air.

A carved wooden bench rests between two, opal rose bushes.

I sit directly in the middle of the bench.

You approach, and you’re wearing a shining crown.

You take it from your head and place it on mine. Its light

curls and pulses like a living thing.


“Oh, it’s alive,” you say. “It’s life itself.

I’m giving it back to you. You need it

to do the work allotted to you.

I’ve been here long enough, drinking the light

from the campfire, and the stars,

and those who stand sideways.”


You grin. Mischief tilts

the atmosphere.

“It’s my wedding too.”


You take my hand and we stand,

two brides with lucent grooms—

a double wedding, a double life.

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The End