Apr/May 2003 Poetry

The Hanging

by Arlene Ang


The Hanging

When we finally
declared "I do's"
our fingers stuttered
on the exchange of rings
as if suddenly bloated
overnight to escape hanging.

We hurried out the church
to a half-hearted sprinkle
of rice and applause and,
turning to my husband
for that coveted
white pose of married couples,
I kissed space
while the photographer
snapped shots
I'd flip through for years:
a veiled albino giraffe
searching trees of people
for the tasty branch
it had lost.

When I rediscovered him
in the courtyard
behind the church,
he was smoking grimly
on alienation.
His hung finger
tried to be bland
about holding the cigarette
without cutting off blood flow.
Though the limo service
expired at midday,
I didn't have the heart
to say it was time to leave.


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