“Life if glorious, but it is also wretched. It is both. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other … They go together.” — Pema Chodron
A long married couple, resigned to one another’s opposing nature,
Glory and Wretch sway on a dance floor.
Groomsmen puff cigars underneath a half moon.
Bridesmaids massage their cheeks, sore from smiling, with no end to their smiling in sight.
It is almost October. Louis Armstrong Oh-yeahs.
Glory and Wretch finish their dance
At the wedding reception of a very young couple.
Glory captivates as she steps off the floor,
Slides her milky palm into Wretch’s rope-rough hand.
He wanted to go home before the ceremony began;
He’s seen this all before, a common reception hall
Where separate wedding parties bleed their amplifications through thin room dividers;
He curses the whole rotten show, damned if you do, or don’t Anyway you look at it
It’s a burial, and then oblivion. The bride barely notices him,
Wonders the secret to Glory’s radiant glow …
She’s come to life for this occasion, kisses bride and groom,
Leaves a lip print wafting of spice cake.
Wretch aggressively pumps the groom’s hand.
Arm in arm, the half-century Mr. and Mrs. step into their own midnight –
She replays the moments of heart-felt emotion.
He regrets zeroes scrawled onto their gift check.
Their silence grows spongy in blue glow of a Trail Blazer.
His breath shoots out of his nostrils like an instigated bull.
Her whale eye superimposes onto the window
Against a swell of intermittent city stars …