The wedding was my idea, but you show me
a young thing who doesn’t dream lace-lacquered
with a fistful of fuchsias, feigning fear of fake gods
for the church shot. You conceded. Said if it mattered,

I should simply ask, but no white cliffs of Dover.
No pomp, priest or plastic. I wore gold sequins,
clutched peonies grown only to be plucked.
Guests puckered straws, dresses bleeding

glitter into carpet, and lips slathered in petroleum
toasted to our love. You insisted we made rings,
had me melt the earth, had me pour it and bend it,
had me hammer platinum into a fine string.

Together we made the mouth of a river
or the sun eclipsed, and after one wedded orbit
the sea swallowed mine, clean like a splinter
from troubled flesh. We tried to report it,

but you can’t handcuff the ocean, and you can’t
lasso the moon, and you can’t collar a beast
and call it yours. So leave me rotting
in the garden, let the worms and flowers feast

until I am worms and flowers. Tell our children
not to marry, and that if they’re really good
their teeth will turn to diamonds, their smiles
will make mountains, their bones will be the woods.

Emily Kate Groves is a poet and facilitator living in Brighton. She previously won the Sunday Telegraph and Rose Theatre’s ‘Poetry for Performance’ competition, and made the final 15 for Young Poet Laureate, London. She took part in Apples and Snakes ‘The Writing Room’ and gained a place on their 2018 Arvon retreat. Most recently she has delivered intergenerational writing classes, and works for a charity connecting older people with their younger neighbours for mutual friendship and creativity.