All I want is to wake married in the mid-90s:
alarm clocks going off like atheistic church bells,
the cruising speed of a Mini Cooper guaranteed
at just in time for Somerset.
Mum always said, “the English know how to do a wedding.”
They invite Yanks! who come with great hats.
They promise all the bridesmaids sex.
They’ll worship and wed anything
so long as there’s a dish to kiss or a goat to toast
while aisles walk to the presence and absence of love.
Sure, I said I’d only stay for three more weddings
and a funeral—if not for You then to hear the case
that marriage remains the definitive icebreaker,
has something or other to do with Scotsmen and love,
being dull or a lesbian.
How else to know fop is the sound Hugh’s trousers make
each time a nightcap turns into one less than Madonna
but more than Princess Di? How else can the cover band
make a midsummer’s night of submarines and school buggery
go on, with or without your red-faced lover?
Maybe that’s just me, waiting for thunderbolts
while the best man is stuck in a box taking duck à la banana
and Oscar Wilde’s fax number to the grave.
How else to say it when I think I love you
but to watch the film again; not to speak but quote myself
quoting Hugh quoting the Partridge Family.
Maybe it’s easier if you sign and I translate
the I dos and I don’ts as children arrive
a gift to those who waited through the credits.