Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2011 v10n1
print version

The big day

Doubt was getting married.
For some reason, he focused on the limo
that would drive them away. It had
to have red wheels and be driven
by Death. Death said, I can do
the 19th, from three to five, if you don’t mind
that we force a busload of children
coming home from band camp
off the road, out by Turner Point. Doubt
was OK with that, for he hated piccolos
and had proposed to Innocence
at that treacherous curve, the one
with a yellow sign that reads, Seriously,
dude, slow down, a sign that makes
most serious dudes speed up. The 19th
came and there was Death
in a powder blue and ruffled tuxedo,
as if he’d just geeked his way
out of the prom, 1973, Lagerfeld High,
Betty Gruber and Lance Grabowski
not losing so much as exchanging
their virginities, Death
holding the door for the newlyweds,
revving the engine, Death
doing a tranny slam, leaving skid marks
of betrothal and giddiness
to the greatest yee-hah the assembled
had ever heard. Of course
Doubt couldn’t believe any of this
was happening, and Innocence
had to ask, but where’s your scythe? Death
pitched his head toward the trunk
and said, God love a Cadillac, all three
thinking roomy but no one saying it
in a car full of distance
and silence and formal wear
heading south, toward where only
ten thousand years ago, a glacier
would have made you think, ice
is the way things are
and will always be, Death
right beside you, all around you,
mostly hanging out, waiting, you know,
for the right moment to prove
how much he believes in the notion
of doing one thing but doing it well.  end

return to top