At the Bridal Shop

The gowns and dresses hang
like fleece in their glaring
whiteness, sheepskin-softness,   
the ruffled matrimonial love in which the brides-
in-waiting dance around, expectantly,
hummingbirds to tulips.   I was dragged here:
David’s Bridal, off the concrete-gray arterial
highways of a naval town.   I sink into the flush
bachelors’ couch, along with other men sprinkled
throughout the shop, as my friend and her female compatriots parade
taffeta dresses in monstrous shades of pastels—persimmons,
lilacs, periwinkles—the colors of weddings and religious
holidays.   Trains drag on the floor, sleeves drape
like limp, pressed sheets of candied fruits,
ribbons fluttering like pale leaves.   I watch
families gathered together: the women, like worshippers,
circling around the smiling brides-to-be, as if they were
the anointed ones.   The men, in turn, submerge
deeper into couches, into sleep, while the haloed,
veiled women cannot contain their joy,
they flash their winning smiles, and they are beautiful.

Poem copyright ©2007 by Joseph O. Legaspi, whose most recent book of poems is “Imago,” Cavankerry Press, 2007. Poem reprinted from “Crab Orchard Review,” Vol. 12, no. 2, 2007, by permission of Joseph O. Legaspi.
More Poems by Joseph O. Legaspi