Epithalamium by Salvatore Difalco

The wedding cake looked like a coffin
for an infant, all pink and white fondant,
under a smother of snow white blooms.
The groom wore a chalky blue tuxedo
that weakened his chin and tinted his skin
and gave him a generally terminal bearing.
The best man’s hair looked amniotic,
his lip-licking eye-popping manner lubricious.
The bride resembled a wild mad bird,
flapping her wings and squawking
about the flowers, the flowers—there
weren’t enough flowers: two sombre violinists
stroked out a contrapuntal Bach thing
and bridesmaids in yellow chiffon singsonged.

I stayed cool through clanking toasts
and foolish jokes that crashed like albatrosses.
I nodded and smiled at the slurry
rhetorical salads of Rob Roy speechifiers,
and I slowly rose and lightly applauded
the jubilant couple’s stiffish first dance
to Luther Vandross’s If Only For One Night.
They had chosen to be made one flesh,
at least for that moment in time: no one
can watch a hawk streak across the sky
and from its flight predict the future.
I drifted off to a mossy place in my skull,
where luscious clusters of grape dripped juice
and ripe peaches and pears thumped about me.

The groom’s mouth sealed the bride’s
in a final public show of their cupidity,
though after ten seconds she pushed him away
in order to draw breath and wipe off her face.
I sat at a table with thick-tongued strangers,
both legs having dozed off during the speeches.
And while I could not rise at that moment,
I could neither rest nor be idly content
with the situation: my bladder agreed.
As I waited for the pins and needles to recede
an intensifying waft of rotting flowers clashed
with the sudden and magical arrival of dessert.
As the others savaged their baked Alaska
I slowly rose, praying no one asked who I was.

Salvatore Difalco lives in Toronto, Canada. His work has recently appeared in Cafe Irreal and Heavy Feather Review.