This poem won Editor's Choice in the 2013 2-Day Poem Contest
Debating between trading vows at Goratorium, where jaded gargoyles
guard the procession, or a 24-hour drive-thru wedding; Eros
missing in action.
To wear remnants of an old wedding dress, death colouring my
cheeks, or a white tank top over shorts, even though my legs will stick
to the vinyl? A hall
replete with vampires who dangle from Goth ceilings (lighting and a trick
trapeze) to bear witness to the ceremony? Or pull the Chevy up to the
chapel window—rapid-fire gambit
of a tattered JP hoping you’ll buy his shtick so he can plug another
dollar into the slot machine? Have a coke and a slice of pizza,
they’re included in the price. Every
intimation of love rank with onion and green pepper.
Third option? The hotel offering a gun-toting theme. Not that I relish the
idea of shooting my lover, at least not yet. But a little target practice couldn’t
hurt. We’ll record the whole thing and post it online
being careful to remove autocorrect from our texts or ‘getting hitched’
might translate to ‘accidental maiming’.
Definitely won’t go for the rococo-styled ’80s—big hair, polyester pants,
blue eye shadow. Some might say those were the last marriages to have a
shelf-life; here, they offer weddings
with 3-day expirations.
Don’t forget the bouquet of neon chrysanthemums to be borrowed
from the 12:25 couple, or should I pre-order a bridal arrangement
of dead roses, black feathers, red
satin? Whatever we choose, we’ll have to pick our way through placard-bearing
zealots wielding sententious messages, packing guns under plaid dresses. After
the platitudes we’ll take a drive
in the desert (the land sweating with its own demise) through tequila-drenched
heat waves, dodging scrubby-toothed tumbleweed and Burning Man ceremonies.
My only fear, being caught in the bob and sway of a mirage:
grandparents, holding hands after the war
fugitive circus elephants, wandering lost
a newborn, crying.
Published online June 28 2013.
Cristy loves to enter contests, especially ones with a time limit. She has two published YA novels with Orca Books (Benched and Living Rough). She entered a chapbook of poetry in the first Coffee Shop Author contest and won honourable mention. She hosts open mic at the Pelican Rouge (White Rock) and continues to be involved in community literary projects.
This poem was a winner in CV2’s annual 2-Day Poem Contest. Every April, CV2 challenges players to create a new original poem that uses all 10 words of our choosing. It’s poetry under pressure for prizes, publication, and personal bests. Learn how to sign up for the next 2-Day Poem Contest.