“Listening to Prince, Reading Emily Dickinson”
Lady, lady, lady, lift up your veil–
See me standing there, far outside the wall? No
no one does see me hail or hear me wail
inside your wedded hall
All our former great friends gather and line the box,
today let’s stop your life–watch the process now; you’ve widowed your old
self’s love into a new wife.
Paint a picture perfect with your new bouquets (did I even pick them
when I had the chance? Unlikely) but lady, lady, lady you’re so white today–
and all these fuck-friendly faces–so bright!– shower you;
yes we were something, weren’t we?
I’m looking down on your day from my box–oh!–
there’s your father almost rewound with you wound on his arm
charming, charming, charming, my white, white old bride.
I’m only observing; I mean no harm, no harm.
I’m no longer there, but then, I’m everywhere today, aren’t I?
New cake, new groom, new ring and by noon
you’ll be a new Mrs. somebody soon enough
so I bless you, wish you well and all that stuff!
So many old faces for something to be so new to you
a second time–but you knew, didn’t you? You knew
there’d be this death–this is a play, an audition–oh, don’t
worry, you’ll hopefully get it right this time!
you always loved the part–just say
the old vows again, incant the lines how
(they must feel like rhyme–I’m sure you must know
them by heart) you did before lady
make the new pact; put me in the ground with us, lady,
man, old rings–one for man one for lady–
complete the new spell you’ll fell; kiss him–our forever ground
now–cast off by your veil!–I’ll catch it as our shroud–
I’m outside hailing and wailing–goodbye! goodbye!
good silence! you can’t hear me; the second round of applause, too loud.
My best to your groom–I’ll stop here to leave
some lines for him to wish you well, and bereave too
for your next spell–don’t worry!–
you’ll always marry well.