The Wedding Party By Deborah Landau

wedding chair and table setting for fine dining at outdoors

Well look, the wedding guests are here again.
Why not just send a card?

 

Snapshot. Snapshot. Smile and kiss.
But this bride has such a red face!

 

Let her scramble past pardon en route to the loo.
Evacuate the taffeta dire and paunchy.

 

The groom is erect.
The groom downed three pints

 

and stole from the caterer.
He would never be no grown-up,

 

This part we’ll remember. Dull and easy.
Before the spawning and apathy.

 

Before the dementia nurse
and waiting for mama to die.

 

Silverware. Cloth napkins. Carafes. Gather round.
Sit pious and clench yourself.

 

What’s within should be held in.
Choke it down. Medicine for the long haul.

 

No more wildness is why
I chose no more wildness.

 

Now scurry ho, before someone else
goes down on the bride.

 

Isn’t that her in the distance, up the pole?

 

 

By pineapple, by pamplemousse,
we find ourselves
back at the table armed with forks

 

and particular ideas about what to drink.
Go on, order what you want.
Turn up the music, you.

 

Lucinda, you have a great voice.
You have a lovelygone face
and teeth. O gums! Pink and alkaline.

 

We live in the city with crowds of fallen.
Soon I am dead and soon you.
We’ll all be dead together! Anne said.

 

 

Marie, you are not unclean.
You are rose-oiled and shiny
and ensconced in the corner

 

with the witty anesthesiologist,
inhaling ladysmoke
at the café.

 

It’s a pleasure
just to watch you scratch the crud
off your lotto ticket tonight.

 

Then in comes Jackson, looking like
he’s left his wife. And again Larry
is extending his feelers toward Clarice.

 

Larry, what gives?
You’ll soon lose interest.
Eh, Mr Candlelight?

 

I want to give you
a good close reading.
Come this way.

 

 

Oh skin! What a cloth to live in.
We are not at the end of things.

 

He’s tuxedoed and I’m in a cocktail dress.
How gussied up we get.

 

Drink this, roll that.
Another sender different gender.

 

We’re going to hit a winner.
We’re going to swallow vodka
and slap down money

 

and stand around frocked and gossiping
and bleed a little in the bathroom
from earlier today when we were a little minx.

 

(He really is of the masses, mama said.)

 

 

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing
Mr and Mrs of the moment now and dancing.

 

Mr and Mrs End of Suffering.
Mr and Mrs Safe and Headed Where.

 

In the reach of night she’ll have him. He’ll have.

 

A series of days filled up and emptied.
A welcome closeness and a womb.

 

He pours her a fizzy one. She pours him hers.

 

Let’s keep on doing this, let’s do it
together. A bit of drunk and full of wishing.

 

(Two people jumping out of a building and holding hands, R said.)

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