Poetry Summer 2020

August Wedding

by Scott Stevens

A boy stands
on his hands. His pleated pants
splay like a tree split
by lightning, still blazing
orange in the evening.

Grass-flecked mud squelches 
between his fingers
while the stitching of his sport
coat strains
his armpits.

Blood floods
his head. Chatter
of birds and relatives
in the drumming sound:

like red-plumed legionaries
marching back to General’s
mercenary throne. Then a draft

of smoke, a flipped steak.
Violins begin.

His hair flicks
falls upward
as he rights himself
to cross the purple lawn

and fill the gap
in line they

left for him
between the men’s

black suits.
Their backs settle

like sand into
one shore: in a wave

at night, the dark clouds of quartz
swirl, then spread 

under the foam, surrendering
to the coast that begot

their grains.
Above the breakers

planets rise from the horizon
red, black, brown, blond

like men who stand turning
together toward the aisle.

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