Under the Weight of a Single Tear

The melancholic beauty of sobriety
     timed to coincide with first light
has no reservation, makes no hesitation,
     to pierce wildly a wedding night’s
sanctity with a thousand burning knives, as if
     sanity’s flight were denied its
acknowledgment to abide doubt’s comforting glance

     when epiphany danced into
the bride’s mind to slight her future its rightful peace,
     uncertainty the constant price
demanded of a wife released from hostage bonds
     into the hoarfrost sigh of dawn’s
chilling arms, to find her husband gone, worse that he
     had never been, and their pure love

never was—that truth is something to consider
     before covenanting with men,
their fictions dangerous, making each a stranger
     and stranger still, that luminous

thrill of letting them take precious liberties in
     the faithless and filth-filled bathroom
of an after-hours party, her cotton-mouthed cries
     rising with all the thundering
reality of an ancient sun dying to
     realize no spell had been cast,
and that magic runs from substance as a frightened
     girl does from someone worth letting
in—him—the one chance, the one man, the prince in her
     solitude she sought to summon,
gone by morning, departing from her warm yearning

     as summer’s last sand does, silent
and tiptoeing from a saturated shore, her
     heart the realm where resentment sighs
like a truant tide passing under the squinting

     eye of an ivory-thighed moon
violent midnight poaches, darkness consuming
     life’s fragile miracle like an
incunabulum Old Testament torn open,
     a prayer left unspoken because
a broken charm’s so hard to bear, her self-loathing
     the sweating moment where desire

and destiny dare to battle, to feast on fear
     as they meet to trample the soul’s
delicate lair, that tight cavern where the bride waits
     without notice to bare what her
loneliness caresses: a fertile silence where
     flesh tears under the crushing weight
of a single tear, its kiss terrible to taste.