Because I gazed out the window at birds
doing backflips when the subject turned
to diamonds, because my eyes glazed over
with the slightly sleepy sheen your cake will wear,
never let it be said that I’d rather be
firing arrows at heart-shaped dartboards
or in a cave composing polyglot puns.
I crave, I long for transforming love
as surely as leaves need water and mouths seek bread.
But I also fear the colder changes
that lie in wait and threaten to turn
moons of honey to pools of molasses,
broad front porches to narrow back gardens,
and tight rings of friendship to flimsy things
that break when a gold band brightly implies
Leave early, go home, become one with the one
the world has told you to tend and treasure
above all others. You love, and that’s good;
you are loved, that’s superb; you will vanish
and reap some happy rewards. But look at the birds.
Rachel Wetzsteon, “On Leaving the Bachelorette Brunch” from Sakura Park. Copyright © 2006 by Rachel Wetzsteon. Reprinted by permission of Persea Books.
Source: Poetry (November 2004).