Tonight, she’s the widow
who married at noon.
The family said he was much too cruel,
too worldly, to wealthy.
The chains around her were invisible,
but no less firmly locked.
With the first dance,
his lips against her ear.
“On this, our wedding day,” he began,
and whispered of blood, and blood, and blood.
She trembled in his arms, and shook her head
against his shoulders of stone.
Her whispered pleas for gentleness
The clueless guests were clapping hands, clinking glasses,
and clanging spoons against goblets.
He made good on his promise,
and she closed her eyes,
and let him tire himself on her flesh.
Sleep and bourbon claimed his consciousness.
She wrapped the bloody rags of her cleansing
around his neck, and removed her hairpin,
her hair now the widows veil over the weeping eyes
that hours before had sparkled under the bridal one.
“On this, our wedding day,” she said.
The virgin white gown was spattered with blood,
and as she cut, and cut, and cut
he gasped and gargled
on his own blood,
his dying breaths in counterpoint
to her sobs and pounding heart.
In the quiet of the manor,
in the peace of the evening,
they say she walks the grounds.
Smiling, she carries the filthy, worn,
and tattered veil at her side,
singing to the rising moon,
“On this, our wedding day….”