This one is from 2011.
Mid-morning, the groom waits for the arborist
while gifts begin to arrive.
Two days ahead, the wedding sways the house,
the green sputter of early spring
draping the tree.
He knew he’d get caught in the scrolls of rain
running down to the roots. He wants the tree scraped clean.
He’ll ask the arborist
(if he ever shows up)
to make a quick peel of the bark
before everything dries.
He spends the next day
turning from the rustic to prepare the wedding
ceremony, rinsing his shirt,
wringing it on the rail, because it’s all he can do.
There’s nothing to be done
about the brassiere, the lacy red one,
her last conversation with him
hooked around the handle of the remaining suitcase,
at least she didn’t take all of her.
She left the halo of her voice,
her braided hair,
purple mouth, genitalia.
He thinks it happened
when she recognized the painted eggshell
as a favor.
He tries to take it back,
but she’s flown to the Himalayas
where she found ice reflecting a bride
poised with her soaked lungs
fueling the despondency of mountain goats.
In the crevasse, brindled in the cold,
she sets a lien on her bones
in the name of the groom
still waiting for the arborist’s call.
She separates her tendons,
weaves them into her shawl.