X & X request the pleasure of your company at the celebration of their union
to please god the wedding will be pareve even if the marriage
is doomed. the couple will reproduce
so many small tragedies not least of all
their butterless cake. of course the children will come
out bruised. the lightbulb breaks under the groom’s foot
because even joy must be tempered. i look most jewish when crying
at weddings for the wrong reasons.
when organizing my books by date. when apologizing to trees
for the nature of paper. why these old laws
when my appetites now would be scorched from the earth
by even the gentlest old testament god?
if you train your body in restraint pleasure finds its way
one way or another. X used to laugh as my tongue
traced maps across his stomach then called me a faggot
behind my back. for so long i would not touch myself
for fear of finding a body.
i’m sorry i won’t be able to make it to your wedding.
SAM SAX is a queer jewish writer and educator living in Oakland California. They’re the author of Madness, winner of the National Poetry Series, and Bury It, winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets.