Put Asunder

On the day of your wedding, I broke into the church.
I opened the baskets of waiting doves, picked up each one,
whispered against soft wings how you had promised
yourself to me. I whispered how you had bound us
together, told me forever so many times that I believed
in it. The birds cried quietly in the nest of my hands.
My voice set timers ticking inside them, counting
down to the moment you said your vows. Turning
with your bride, in the gossamer glory of your untruth,
the baskets opened and the doves whirred out, puffed
up like toads. Tranquility turned inside out. They exploded –
little bombs of purity, of peace, Molotov cocktails
of beak and pink intestine. Flour-white feathers
spelled my name in the aisle; the pews blew over
like Tunguska trees. Two doves found me in the doorway,
landed in my outstretched hands. An olive branch
in one beak, a stick of dynamite in the other.
Jeannie Catron grew up in Maryland and now lives in Tucson, AZ. Her work has appeared in Attic.

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