- Meager Furtive Little Wedding, and: Such Love
Meager Furtive Little Wedding
The one gift—that crate of sweet seasonings from the east—we stowed in the cellar and never crow-barred open: that was a sign. And the way the priest blessed us by miming the slipping of slack nooses around our necks. Mistakes were made. But the project went unscuttled through fall, through winter, you in one room, I in another, each of us writing and writing of some other love having stripped us dumb once. [End Page 192] The potted plant in the stairwell, I will say now, gave me the creeps, coiling and coiling into a farcical tangle of limbs we should have lopped off half of to keep it from toppling. Our promise was timid—spring undid us: a ruckus of rain, buds bursting into sloppy blossoms, flaunty reds and purples surrounding the house, punishing us with the scent of all the changes they’d braved to get that way.
I row and row, and riverwater rimples behind me, like bedsheets I’ve slipped from, like someone’s memory emptying itself of me.
Such riproar and mischief, such unluck the moon has witnessed and gloats above, such love gone stupid. The human in me
makes a song of this, and of the trees that pass blankly on both banks. I swig a rich red liquor, drink and sing,
the tempo slow as that of my own going and of the bottles, spent, that roll and clink on the boat bottom. Such aloneness. Such ghosts [End Page 193]
in the tangle and drag of the backwash: those I left, or who left me, because I sang of love but failed to love enough.
They turn their eyes from me. They’re fine. It’s not their reproachful voice I sing to drown the sound of. It’s someone else’s. [End Page 194]
Chris Forhan is the author of three books of poetry: Black Leapt In, winner of the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize; The Actual Moon, the Actual Stars, winner of the Morse Poetry Prize; and Forgive Us Our Happiness, winner of the Bakeless Prize. His work appears in the latest Best American Poetry and Pushcart Prize anthologies.