“Second Marriage” by Beth Gylys

Beth Gylys


The day you proposed,
the crows nesting
beside your house
screamed human screams.
You handed me rings
lodged in a box
that looked like a miniature house.
We ran six miles, both of us
thinner from worry and surprise.
I wept and joked about divorce—
my tongue turned wood, my brain
a tilt-a-whirl, Cuisinart.
We toasted with bourbon.
What to eat to celebrate
a second engagement? Bologna?

Hold my hand and close your eyes.
How to even think of a veil,
a clutch of tulips or begonias?
Grandmother’s wedding dress
has tiny holes chewed
by mice or moths. In July,
you’ll wear your only sports coat,
all wool. The courthouse steps
strewn with trash, we’ll snag
a witness down the street
pissing in the holly.

from Rattle #38, Winter 2012

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