Mixing Your Legends

After the wedding, as bride
and groom depart, you muddle
your legends and turn yourself
into a pillar of salt. A glimpse
of the woman you called Medusa
should have killed you although
you and the rest of us survived
the ceremony and reception
without the faintest twinge of death.
Perhaps the thought of sodomy
in the bridal chamber confused
Greek and Hebrew tales. Sweating
under your best linen suit
you slick yourself with salt
that toughens into armor
so that you can’t even wave goodbye.
Helping you to your car, I feel
how stiff and unyielding you are.
The pain must seem robotic,
artificial. As I prop you
in the seat, thunder erupts
with the flash and bang we expect
from a firing squad. I duck
into the car with you and huddle
as big hail clatters and the guests
dash back indoors. Bride and groom
will remember this moment,
the storm endorsing their union
in a thousand shades of gloom.
And you, shaking off your shell
of case-hardened perspiration,
cling to me like a human;
and in the grip of your aging
but persistent inner organs
I feel cities cruder than Sodom
and Gomorrah self-digesting
to cough up skeins of ghost.