THE NEW BRIDE
Dying, darling, is the easy bit. Fifty paracetamol,
bride-white and sticking in the throat, ten shots
of Johnny Walker, and the deed is done.
A twilight day of drowsing, then the breathing
slows to a whisper, like a sinner in Confession.
Death is dead easy. No, what happens next
is the difficulty. You bastard, howling in public,
snivelling over photos, ringing round for consolation.
And you have me burnt, like a dinner gone wrong,
you keep the charred remains of me on show
at the Wake, inviting everyone I hate. Oh God,
they come in packs, sleek as rats with platitudes
and an eye on my half of the bed, hoping to find
leftover skin, a hint of fetid breath. I leave them
no hairs on the pillow; there are none to leave.
And a year to the day since I shrug off the yoke
of life, you meet the new bride. In group therapy.
You head straight for a weeper and wailer,
telling strangers all her little tragedies. You love
the way she languishes, her tears sliming your neck,
you give in to her on vile pink Austrian blinds.
The Wedding is a riot of white nylon; Everybody
drinks your health and hers, the simpering bitch.
She and Delia Smith keep you fat and happy
as a pig in shit. I want her cells to go beserk.
Some nights I slip between you. The new bride
sleeps buttoned-up, slug-smug in polyester. You,
my faithless husband, turn over in your dreams,
and I’m there, ice-cold and seeking out your eyes
and for a moment you brush my lips, and freeze.
Reproduced with the permission of the author.