Late 21st Century Wedding Song
2009 September 26
Everyone who was present at our wedding
is seated at long, white tables,
even the ones now dead. The dead
speak only Italian, even my best man.
His eyes pool with marble light.
I insist that he stop this nonsense,
but he is intensely emotional.
He gestures with his hands,
and at times, it seems as if
I am viewing him through a layer
of fog, cigar smoke, the haze
that lingers as the dead often do.
I know he is dead because his wife,
who is still beautiful, speaks to me
in English. She cannot comprehend him.
She watches his lips move – she nods
politely, when they stop.
We are served dinner, and the opera
is about to begin. Opening night.
My father directs traffic with his eyes.
We drink espresso in nipple-sized cups.
The singers reach cathartic notes,
for they will soon be killed.
Every performance in the late 21st century
is followed by state executions,
so they really let us have it at the finale.
I look around for someone
to tell me what it means, why they give
so much of themselves,
but our desserts are here, and the dead
know exactly what to do,
what should be said.
The rest of us eat in silence.