Three Weddings
           Megan Bott



On the happiest day of my life I could not help but remember the day I reached womanhood. I was not yet thirteen, and still the sea of red between my thighs was bold enough to stain my skirt and the chair where I sat. No story is original, I think, and the way you weave your hand through mine is not unlike the way a river destroys a city.


The white gown falls to the floor
Marry—bury nakedness and shame
River weaves not to separate land
But land stands aside for the river
O, self-righteousness! O, glory!
Cloak hubris and walk it down the aisle
May the father of pride bless this marriage
May the red silk around neck
Gently lower heart to the groom
Instead of snapping.


On the day that the courthouse fell, there was to be a wedding. And the bride in the courthouse was cloaked in white, and the ring on her finger was made of bone, and the groom at the altar was made of porcelain, and the groomsmen were made of elephant hide, of thick curly human hair, of sandpaper, but there was no time to wed because the river, oh, that river, it took away the pillars before they could even say their vows.