Facebook Wedding

 

These are the days you prayed for,

your friends and the people who share your blood

intact and eternal,

flat in the frame of the machine.

 

Look at the pictures long enough

and you’ll swear you were actually there,

you’ll remember it all—

the bride, the children, the tree, the beach,

the salt grass of that chosen landscape wet everywhere

except underneath the broad-branched tree

where the people and the cameras could go

because only there was it safely, exceptionally dry.

 

How wrong the aboriginals were about souls—

it’s the picture that gives you a soul.

 

And the children who were fussed over that day

because they’d grown so much since the last time

they were seen—

of course, it takes great

distance to detect this growth,

those who live with it everyday

are blinded by it.

 

The children had to be reminded

after the beach to wash their bare feet

under the tap; they couldn’t keep the beach.

Children have to be checked for this—

What can be kept is shell or bone.

What still has insides isn’t ready to be kept.

 

The photographer knows this: occasions can be claimed

only when they’ve been hollowed out,

when they’ve lost their fingerprints.

 

As for the bride, she looks like any bride,

like a cross between a ghost and a cake—

what is a bride, anyway, that a girl can be

turned into one every day?

The idea is that the earlier girl just disappeared;

everyone here is an accomplice in her vanishing.

 

Fine planet, the children

might be thinking as they pass the seashell,

making it for a moment

a part of the ear.

Listen, listen—

you can almost believe

something still lives there.

 

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