Oyster Boy Review 11  
  April 1999
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» Levee 67


The Costume Wedding

Aaron McCollough

We had a short, plodding life together, badly dressed,
and she sometimes would fix me a meal,
but I remember the wedding was a costume affair,
and the religious stuff was left to the priest,
who could've been an imposter in the collar we'd been expecting.

Things were too perfect that day, so I'll say it was overcast and we argued,
but our friends came, I think,
and you'd've thought they were a circus troupe,
or you'd've thought they'd let a ward loose,
or maybe you'd've found it completely natural, I don't know.

They came dressed as repair men, dictators, and civil servants,
famous ball players and physicists,
beatniks, neat freaks, fruit,
Rubik's cubes, one couple came as Nietzche and God.
There were ugly things, horrors, hopes, fears, dancing rings of lies.

Looking down from the stage like a man on the scaffold,
dressed as Robespierre, actually,
I was thinking the field was a board game board,
the punch bowl, a giant spinner.
Whether the bowl was actually spinning or the field, I couldn't be sure.

A sentimental man would say the spinning set us in motion for good,
a bunch of drunk kids sack racing,
three-leg racing, red rover red rover come on overing,
with some jumping in the sack together, I know,
a bunch of drunk kids, facing adulthood, in disguise.

But we knew when to drop the front and, at dusk, skinny-dipped.
Ghandi, Quadafi, Jean d'Arc, Gene Simmons,
Anais Nin, and Gertrude Stein all left themselves,
like pasty, bashful souls,
carrying their breasts or their balls into the chilly beyond.

And the marriage didn't work out as you can imagine.
I got shy, and she got scared of me,
or we just ended up not matching.
But it was worth it, you know,
to see the costumes on the bank and the sun going down.