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Wedding Atrocities

Hayden Garside '23

     I. Arranged Marriage 

sometime before noon I was kidnapped 

and placed hostage in a bouquet of flowers much plainer than I. 

they tied our limbs 

with ribbon and sentenced us to become friends. 

how dare they insult my nobility. 

I would rather perish 

than allow those grisly weeds to tarnish my complexion. 

alas, my petals wither in this unseemly prison. 

I hope they bury me in lace. 

     II. Vanilla Cake 

Biting upon the damp crumbs, a sick sweetness numbs

my tongue and stretches into 

shadows of nostalgia. A cavern of desire for something more, yet perfectly content with the

delicacy of less. 

Vanilla cream drowns the ridges of pink and red, mouthwatering 

with a gentle touch of suffocation. 

Jaws move against the wave 

of glue that slithers between the crevices, ivory stained by infinite

cigarettes and coffee. 

One bite left and the cake vanishes, smiles dancing in moderation with laughing faces. A slow

brush, ironed cuff tracing the 

valleys that decorate my face. But cheers to the happy couple, I guess. 

     III. Hollow Vows

Ceremonies pale the sober 

I bought white lilies at this one shop somewhere but they seemed too shallow to bring so I left 

             them hidden nearby in the folds of my dignity 

This peaceful prayer dares not disrespect those bewitched by love Here laughter collapses into


Lost in the passing hour, I glimpsed a sparrow land upon the empty seats, blissful and oblivious, 

            ruffling his feathers as he marched across the glossy wooden surface 

A contract ends with broken trust 

Wilted flowers awaken from their strange slumber when graced by a child’s touch I fear that

wound is the book I threw into your fireplace last night 

My wife–a clumsy fool of age–traded her patience for your carpet’s delight when she tumbled 

over a collapsing stiletto and spilled her wine on the blouse I bought her for our

anniversary before she drunkenly announced that I was a deceitful bastard 

It is not until the end that we accept defeat A simple Canon in D may lighten the mood

Nightmares of deception taunt my sunken eyes with visions of gold that burned my finger and

left scars of guilt when finally, I pulled it off and disposed of your burdening grace

Ho, a slight breeze warns the fair Clocks rewind our minutes 

Bewitched by her spell, my legs began to teeter and my head fell into the hazy mush of 

weightlessness, until I suddenly saw my reflection, waiting for the magic to end

You see, nothing real comes without cost

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