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Wedding Function

a typical wedding
with bridesmaids and ushers
love hate the king and queen
love's lips were red and to die for
hate's mask was black and white
functional faces had no color except their own
blank looks of cult members
and all the blemishes showing I saw
the tuft of hair on one side of her chin
as she turned away too good for me
bearded lady poet on her nametag
mother in the corner gray without her paints
she ordered a fan and a petticoat
and stayed for all the party games
the dog told me his name was henry
said he had a family but I recognized the signs
a patch of dirt under his left shoulder
barking for attention begging for scraps
I wore jeweled notches around my neck
they clinked their apologies against the crystal
as I reached across the table for the bowl of salt
for protection just in case you just never know
what could happen at these things

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