Chipped polish on keratin
Formed instruments of misery
Against the carved ivory candlestick,
But played in time and one half
Between clicked wooden heels
And shuffle scuffed leather toes.
Shrieking warped wood boards
Bemoaned the restless pacing
Until eased by the storm’s drippings
Rolled from the oversaturated linen.
Youth kept the nightdress white,
Precisely creased on double pleat
Perfumed in almond and rice starch.
The insipidness of immaturity
Creeped up the ironed dart lines
To satiate the linen’s thirst for spoil,
And seeped into the recurring path
In a bogged mix of clay and blood.
The sludge had smudged the vows
Between the ruby and diamond ring.
Lightning had taken exception,
Or so it would have seemed,
To the metal cockerel above the well.
It’s striking boldly lit the sodden grass
To illuminate a solitary jacquard spat
Encased, leather, side button boot.
He’d sworn himself inconspicuous once,
Yet adorned himself so pretentiously
For the eyes of the unwed maidens
On the night he was intended to wed.
The dusty manor house windows
Did not hide the ostentatious footwear
From the overwhelmed on looker
As she bit her nails cuticle bare.
Had he simply fallen, she’d be asleep
For the drunkard had overindulged
On pints of overtaxed Thames Gin.
But he cracked his crown on limestone
Before his legs lost the ability to hold
His brainless form to full attention.
Inebriation settled most heavily
In the bones of his shaking wheeze.
Had not the split of his mindless skull
Incapacitated his conscious movement,
His well wished departure would be,
To the greatest of detest and chagrin,
Replaced by opiate coma numbing
As his bride rode Peeler’s prize
In a carted cage of lucid lunacy
And cursed language of wicked folk.
Luck had been her bedfellow,
Strength her mightiest gift giver,
And determination: her kind muse.
No sooner could he groan in ache
Than his moaning was quick silenced
In the crunch of crumbled spine
That met with a barren dark age well.
Her hand warmed by the liquid wax,
She stopped pacing to reflect with joy
At the sickening sound of lifelessness.
A crystalized lowball glass sways;
Jigging the rocks around the whiskey.
Holding the glass is an aged hand,
Belonging to an aged man
Just threatening to tell a story.
The bar listens with tense ears
And choked breaths.
"She was my first wife;
June, beautiful, bewitching, bodacious;
Too much so at times.
She wore her hair pinned
At the crook of her neck
With a single silver barrette.
It softened her harsh features
Just a little you see.
I came home one day
To discover her on the floor,
With a single silver barrette
Plunged deep in her eye socket.
But nobody knew a damned thing!"
The lowball swayed mores
And the tavern slouches listened on.
"Next there was my second wife,
She was a pious woman,
And her slight figure would pray
Before performing any activity
And i mean any, before the Lord.
She tied the waist of her dress
With a bright green ribbon;
it was so tiny that waist of hers.
Shame I found the ribbon
Around that pretty porcelain neck.
And for some reason,
Everyone thought nothing of it!"
The lowball was empty.
Once the bartender topped it up
The man continued.
"Finally there is my beloved Jessie.
Far too pretty and young
Especially for this old ruffian,
But she would ignite the fire
To warm any man's soul.
Now she's still alive.
But that there stiff
That got my gun going
He's the bastard
Snatched her from me.
And with God as my witness,
She remains my wife,
So she belongs to me."
And with one long final sip,
He left the bar without his gun;
High off of gunpowder and whiskey.
In an Ivory gown, I waltz,
To meet my maker,
Or face my ultimate breaker.
In the eyes of all those I trust,
I see a conspiring plan,
To share, universally, the feelings,
In their new related form,
That originally came from my heart.
I vow to be there,
In sickness and in health,
And betroth myself to life,
Imprisonment by betrayal,
Regardless of my feelings,
Without notice of my honesty,
I marry myself to be hated,
Suspected by my spouse,
Harmed by my home bird.
Betrothed to my Betrayal.