For Once

Anna Meister

It was a joyful visit to the government office!
We were made a bouquet of ribbons & they clapped
each time one broke, meaning I’ll have a child.
It’s official now, we said, we’re married,
annoying the hell out of everyone. So much
spinning on the courthouse steps & under pines
& by the rock overlooking the crater
where there used to be a pond. In winter
we marveled on mushrooms at its shine & I couldn’t
stop my tears, same as the swamp of summer
when wearing your suit jacket I forgot how to speak.
Belly full of Fernet & too many duck frites.
I held up your shoe when asked,
Which of you is more likely to lose
your wallet?
& the room swelled. It’s funny
because it’s true, like when my father kissed my forehead
& told me I’m a blessing. In the teashop
I smiled into my ginger
as he mispronounced oolong. Oh, long day.
So often I’m more bridge than bride.

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