30: Vows

January 4, 2019 · 5:00
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by Melissa Stein

He didn’t invite me to the wedding.
Am I some kind of ghost? A few roses
blown open. People kept trooping back
and forth in downpour to view
the thorny stalks. I saw the photos.
Am I shameful? Even from far away
you can tell someone’s age by how her body
moves. What bird by the steadiness
of its wings. Some trees are simply
more picturesque. Some days
I’m a regret machine. Why
are children always running, is there
so very much to get to? You terrify
the moments. You waste them like this.
And behind walls doors and screens,
everyone you’ve ever lost
is repeating marriage vows.


“Vows”, from TERRIBLE BLOOMS by Melissa Stein. Copyright © 2018 by Melissa Stein. Used by permission of Copper Canyon Press.