Bitter Memories

From $25

He ringed my finger in the golden hour, late day
Of  a long winter, & it has been spring

Ever since. This isn’t true, I know, & still:
I will say it. I will say it again: yes, yes. To marry,

My ancestors were first handfasted:
A handshake, an assurance. The promise
Was the more important ceremony, the word
Given & received. After that, the wedding

Hardly mattered. Spring ever since—

The sun always about to set & never setting.
Children bloom with the tulips, filling the empty street
With their little shouts & bicycles. The couple,
Once handfasted, were married

Upon consummation. We marry

& marry again, spent. The golden
Hour glances off my hand, a ring

Of  light. My coat unbuttoned to the sun-stroked air,
& when he knelt, he rose steady as the perennials

Keep their yearly promise: all blossom & green.
My hand in his fist, my fist in his hand, my betrothed,
Engaged, affianced, intended—yes—
My intended, for all I could not say

But meant & mean.



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