It was a wedding of strangers.
We were there to make up the family numbers.
What did it matter that I'd only seen the groom once,
and that at a funeral.
Weddings, funerals, those were the only time
the outer branches of the rotting family tree
acknowledged each other.
It's got so I can't imagine my male cousins
in anything but a tux or a heavy dark suit.
I knew the bride not at all.
Blue satin and veils of white lace...
lovely, you said.
Un~favorite aunts asked after my job.
A red-nosed uncle complained to me
about the watered-down beer
while Cousin Lecher thought it might
be fun to pat your ass.
Aunt Gloria's face flushed red and wet.
She was the family cliché,
the only who only ever cried at weddings and funerals.
Like me. she probably found them indistinguishable.
Meanwhile, lights flashed, bulbs popped.
Nothing like posing for a photograph
we'll never see.
I whispered in your ear, "Let's leave."
You said that wouldn't be polite.
After the chewy chicken entree,
I repeated the suggestion.
This time you acquiesced.
"We're off to another wedding"
I lied to the startled people at our table.
Meanwhile, to the clamor of forks on wine glasses,
the happy couple kissed.
Why not. It was their funeral.