What My Wife’s Ex-Boyfriend Said To Me In The Receiving Line, And What I Hear
You gotta little mascara on your nose,
buddy, which implies someone a little less
than ruddy -- and what about you, you old
fuddy-duddy -- pondering tattoos that permit
re-entrance to Philadelphia’s zoo.
She’s quite a coup, but not really the stamp
of approval that’ll keep crocodiles at bay.
Smile. You’re the guest whose crashed
his own party. So Mary Kay sent you on
a cosmetic mission -- do I have your permission
to embrace the bride? You should take most of
this in stride, not brood upon your self
in sickness or in health... And that’s when
I shook like the next hands in line:
Aunt Millie’s trembling from Parkinson's,
Cousin Kurt’s firm from football two-a-days.
You gotta few stains on your shirt, pal,
the precursor to dirt on your grave. How
did we go from officiant to grotesque groom
in a box? I’m finally thinking with my cock
about defeat: What’s dirt got to feel bad about
anyway? Dirt’s as self-actualized as one gets
on earth. Dirt, I’m still thinking, has spies
in every nation, all scattered to the windows
of vinyl-sided homes, sleeper cells, awaiting
cancerous mutations, all triggered by unsuspecting
best men in their Reception Halls everywhere
poised with raised glasses: a toast! The toast is burnt
to black shit, all dark like an ancient charcoal pit.
Yes, mascara mars the contours of my face, but please
note how, with her shimmering lace, she wipes the daub
away. And I’m released from my own cognizance.
Scott Kinder-Pyle is an ordained and now disillusioned minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). He has published poems in Sojourners and The Journal For Preachers. You can read his blog at www.9-poeticfingers.org.