Poem of the Week

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October 15, 2015 / Soma Mei Sheng Frazier


Play Wedding


For some reason, they both wore dresses

Alina and Shawn – she ten, he twelve

in the corner of Casa Del Lago Mobile Home Park

where a giant mud puddle formed

the closest thing to a lake

in at least three square miles, and

we closed in an expectant knot around them

shaded by scrappy cedars:

twelve scrappy kids

from three scrappy families.

Shawn had lost a bet

(on purpose, we suspected, as each of us

had seen him following Alina – even

since before her mother bought her

the training bra – down root-ripped paths

around the park’s square, beige club house

with its frayed lounge chairs and disappointing pool

up the center of the one real road that divided neat rows of

not so neat homes)

and now he had to marry her.

This is a real wedding, we told him

and afterward if we catch you kissing

another girl

even on the cheek

we’ll beat your skinny ass.

Maybe, being ten, he hadn’t understood

the accoutrements of weddings

how the bride always wore the dress

and the groom, the tuxedo

in the framed photographs our parents kept

or perhaps his big sister

ringleader of the day

had forced him into the drooping white cotton

that slid and slid and slid

off his shoulders. The low sky

went gray and

a bracing wind picked up.

Do it, said the sister in a voice that meant business

and even now I remember

more clearly than I do my own

first wedding, or even the one

that stuck, how a

cold drop struck my shoulder

and a station wagon appeared slowly

in the street, past the trees – paused, backed up

turned around and drove away as

they moved together to kiss

she in white and he in white; how he

leaned with his eyes closed

like a man on the edge of a cliff

his whole body


and perspiring

the sudden drop before him





Copyright © Soma Mei Sheng Frazier 




Kore Press staff pick.







Soma Mei Sheng Frazier's debut fiction collection, Collateral Damage: A Triptych, earned praise from Nikki Giovanni, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket), Antonya Nelson, Molly Giles and others. Soma lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and serves as Chair and Assistant Professor, English and the Humanities, at Cogswell Polytechnical College. She is hard at work on a novel. Soma's Notes from the Motherfield essay, "Motherhood as Grand Mal," can be read here.


























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