So, yes, I will sit in your postcard pew, performing
the ablutions of custom: sing lustily and then
forever hold my peace.  I’ll beam – and mean it –

as a puce-faced man links arms with you and speaks
his part.  I’ll dab at a dignified eye and place
my slip-shod faith in your fresh happiness. These things

I can do for you.  I’ll even think of other things
(between the hymned injunctions that you don’t believe in)
to put aside the chink of your buck-teeth

before you straightened them, your fresh grown curves,
their neat silhouette against the curtains drawn across
our conspiracy of amber afternoons: picturing

the lovely chaos of piled clothes and jam-jar lids
of dog-ends, you, shameless, sitting at the far end
of my bed reading  aloud – your crease of belly

grinning in the sunlight. And then the twist of hips,
wide-eyes, clumsy tongues.   These things I’ll try.
I’ll raise a glass, I’ll even dance.  I’ll kiss your cheek,

wish you well then drive into the heavy evening
of your August wedding night where dusk is furred
with stories, motorway illuminations trail

back and all’s washed clean, forgotten.  You will
wear white and be unhistoried.  I’ll turn off course,
to look back briefly down the incline of the years,

to read the city that we whispered couldn’t live
without us, above which the stars will slip
into the constellations of your freckled back.


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