Bearing a free watermelon, my bride in her gown
returned from the vegetable stand with the Korean’s
wedding day blessing. The wino homesteading
our steps helped her unlock the rattly doorknob
& accepted a carnation he wore in his lapel
& sniffed for a week. For once, our cats didn’t jump
on her dress, but sat with question mark tails,
as she opened a tuna fish can, their wedding day treat.
Even they knew we’d done something crazy.
Our license from the judge’s chamber lay
on the counter. Before calling anyone, I lifted
her white lace to kiss the growing tummy I adored.
All those wedding gifts lost to the cats’ antics:
champagne flutes, a silk scarf from Hermes.
Be reassured: we didn’t marry for material gain.
But the finale? Nancy wiped her butt on the rug,
while Sid leaped from a radiator onto the fridge,
where for safe keeping we kept the salad bowl,
hand-blown in Vermont. Solid as glass brick,
but Sid nosed it over the edge onto the radiator:
fifty glass nuggets. Sid & Nancy: Why did we name
our cats after a Sex Pistols thug & his groupie?
Because, after the miscarriage, they gave us the gift
every night of kneading our heartache into putty.
She opened 365 Chicken Recipes to discover
a $100 bill she’d hidden years ago, a neurotic period
we didn’t discuss. We celebrated at the Brass Rail,
reservations upstairs: linen napkins folded like doves
& crystal vase roses. Our waiter kept reappearing
to scrape bread crumbs, as if we were careless.
Her pate arrived to smell like my sneakers.
My coq au vin turned out to be chicken.
She admitted a bad day writing copy,
stuck first on explaining garage door openers,
then on directions for tub washing venetian blinds.
I said nothing about not writing my novel.
For dessert we shared Napoleon & Crème Brulee.
Too early for home we strolled to the cannon
on the tech college hill for the harbor view
of lower Manhattan’s tuning fork towers.
Tugs shoved through wrinkled black water.
Trees shook salsa up from Waterfront Drive.
She said the City looked like a choir of angels.
She said she forgave us the miscarriage.
I said we were still young & lifted the necklace
of the George Washington Bridge from the skyline
to lay on her breastbone, our miracle now a year old.