That time you invited me to your wedding

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It was unusual, to walk up to me
In the backyard, where the grass was dew
Wetting the hems of pretty girls’ dresses,
And with proprietorial ease
To begin kissing me – my neck, my cheek, my mouth.
It was familiar as breathing so
I did not stop it.

Odd also that I let your hand slip
Under my dress at the reception line,
As it had done before in lecture halls
Formal dinners and church services before (Never minding
If the nail met soft slippery or dry tacky flesh / It would always penetrate).
Everyone else just got a handshake.

By the time I found myself helping with some minor errand
In the kitchen with the women
I should not have been surprised to find
You behind me as I knelt to find something
In the bottom cupboard, your head
Peering in the laminex chamber beside me, saying,
“Will you always wear your hair this way?
You will change it, won’t you?”

All the other guests left with a slice
Of cake for putting underneath their pillow
But I only took home a half cooked
Baby with a coathanger
Hooked through its left eye.

By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.

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