1. The Best Man and the Bride
No marble cake or wedding ziggurat
is half as sticky-sweet as this odd rhyme.
But when it comes to cute, your loose cravat
and rented morning coat will surely prime
this bride's regret she chose as groom your friend,
a wealthy slug abed, a son of Masonry's
elite: the 33rd Degree. The end
is clear. A quick divorce erases memory's
dark hours: the honeymoon, the sweating bed,
Venus stuck to Mars, as Vulcan fumes.
And after weeping, cheeks and eyes once red
will blush with hope, as beauty beckons grooms
galore, whose purple pills help lust arise —
and if not love — the body's then the prize.
2. The Groom and Maid-of-Honour
When after Grace the wedding feast is set,
and vegans weep at meat upon their plate,
the band drives oldsters deaf. O come my pet,
I wed your sister. Help me curse this fate!
Alex yearns for Phyllis, Tom for Chloe,
who pines for Anne, like other friends possess'd
desiring Art, who looks like David Bowie.
For what contents us least we are obsess'd.
So love, stop flirting with that young bartender.
For I have better ways to fill you up;
more than FaceBook, I am your Befriender.
You will be my kitty; I your pup.
And if your sis finds out, our revelry
would not scorn some kinks, delighting three.
3. A Paean to Weddings
Let us not to marriage, rich in kinds,
admit just one, on pediments. For love
has many flavors. Some the altar finds
a haven. Then the lawyers help remove
the til-death part and ever-binding vows.
Sickness, health, or tempests, even snoring
today have lost their glue, and nature bows,
centrifugal, to shed the bland and boring.
Time will fool, with Botox and cosmetics,
and ways to trick the Reaper's sweeping scythes.
Alcohol and drugs and anesthetics
still lure us to more rosy lips and thighs.
A wedding is a civil way to shove
us towards a fair facsimile of love.
4. Amor vincit omnia
Silence crackles, taciturn Nymphette.
A third martini, light upon your hair,
a glimpse of thigh will cause me to forget
your day-long frown, your pouts that suck the air.
Your body makes me think each damning thought.
Shorts and other garments on the floor
are like a trail of clues a hound dog sought
to sniff us out, distracted by the chore
of clutching flesh. Our drunken slurs, cliches
of love that make us false to any man,
remind me "love" in all its wond'rous ways
was absent from your lexicon and plan.
Love is never love that craves insistence.
As Dante knew, true love requires distance.
If you have any thoughts on these poems, Royal Rhodes would be pleased to hear them.