After the Wedding

I press my back against yours and recall Canadian whiskey, gas station coffee,
asthmatic snow. A scar on your thigh from a space-heater, the Murphy bed,
the boxwoods mangled by the truck. Your apartment with the saw-horse desk
and the drop-ceiling like a plunging sky. In Michigan, in our dreams. Today

in Minnesota I wake up on your floor and get lost at the state fair, my back
against the seat of a Ferris wheel, wondering if patience is anything
I could aspire to. Tomorrow, my back is to the cello player and you’re standing
at the altar in a gray suit reciting the Serenity Prayer. I don’t drink now

but then I did. And you did before that and now and still you don’t. In Michigan,
you send me a story about your dreams. And undoubtedly I’m in them.
Just beyond the rush of light. Somewhere closing in. I use the word exile
when you call me. Before and now our time is misaligned. After the wedding

I slept in your bed with a bouquet in my arms. To remember your dreams
is like falling in love with your ideal self—is something I wrote on a napkin
and threw away. The wedding was a thicket of red pine. My hands
were on your back. When you asked me how I was, I replied, who cares?

Vincent James Perrone is a Detroit-based writer and musician. He is the author of ‘Starving Romantic’ (11:11 Press, 2018) and cofounder of the 51 W. Warren Writers group. Recent work published and forthcoming from Ghost City Press, Prometheus Dreaming, Corvus, Levee Magazine, and Emerging Literary Journal.

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