Bridge to Global Literature

Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.

Bridesmaid – Gerald Fleming

May 15, 2022 | Poetry | 0 comments

Bridesmaid

—at Alice Shaw’s request

What are we wearing to the wedding?
Breasts! says One
Oh, Silly! says Two—She meant red dress!

This, a Wedding?    & I    the stalk of me    the terse talk of me    the bodas-balk of me    Bridesmaid?    & the Others    white    tan    brown    black    five of us    crew accrued    they of the big breasts beside the bent stem of me    the look-at-them of me    and now comes the Bride    red-shoed    snockered/pie-eyed    reels down the aisle    words read    bridegroom farpast smashed    (the moms & dads aghast)    and in the powder room they press the so-much-less of me    beseech the red crease of me    Tell us if our boobs are falling out    as if I had none    & they    in their largesse    Already are, I say    No—says Four (hem on the wet floor)—I mean falling out More!    & they laugh haha/fling back the door & out we go into the drunken dee-jayed reeling    antennaed me    spindly me on SECURITY    Your left boob’s falling out to One    Watch that strap to Three    then sick of it    still in the thick of it    mere Mimi of me amid these Brunhildes of boobs    sweatsteamy    bamboo slip of me amid swaying baobabs of boobs    third Bunny Hop now halfway through    Macarena coming due    shouting My name’s Kate—what’s yours?    & Four (Reina Boracha de Piñas Coladas) says Oh, Kate—YOU drunk TOO? You know me, I’m ARIANA    & No you’re not, I say, You’re AREOLA    & her OH MY GOD OH MY GOD intentional, announcementional    the bad act of it    the laughing & stuffing it back into the faux-silk sack of it    & oh I stepped back from that track    must see the sure-to-come-too-tall-red-shoe fall    and it was horse on horse    whitegirl on top of course    all slo-mo all slack    all Bad Wedding sound track    bent leg/bare breast/bare back    & there was I    the good-to-be-alone of me    the sentient skin & bone of me    the Get Me Goddamn Home of me…

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Gerald Fleming’s most recent book is The Bastard and the Bishop, prose poems published in 2021 by Hanging Loose Press, Brooklyn/Boston. Previous titles include One (an experiment in monosyllabic prose poems, also Hanging Loose), The Choreographer (prose poems, Sixteen Rivers Press, San Francisco), Night of Pure Breathing (prose poems, Hanging Loose), and Swimmer Climbing onto Shore (Sixteen Rivers). His work has appeared widely in literary magazines over the past forty years. Fleming lives in the Far West of the United States most of the year.

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