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The Bridegroom

his voice / a blindfold around my head

Poetry | Straddling Convention
February 14, 2013

This poem is part of “Straddling Convention: The Erotic in Asian American Poetry,” edited by Ocean Vuong.

He said: you talk to much.
He said fucking his wife
was like doing the stations
of the cross, over and over,
always in the exact same
way. He said: saddle up
your ponies, told me to go
easy there, hoss, his voice
a blindfold around my head.
I did exactly what he said.
He liked my thick hair, liked
squeezing my mouth slowly
open with finger and thumb,
prying down my lower lip
before gently grazing there.
Soon after he stopped
saying anything, held me
spellbound in his gaze, his
hand palming the backside
of my head, cradling it like
a newborn calf, his hardness
riding up against my loins,
crushing my sex, the bruises
only showing later as proof
of his sudden visitation—
late afternoon sun starting
to dip below the ridge,
the sky itself tuning from
champagne to cinnamon,
his body all vice and torque
as he took me in his arms,
bride and chattel, his tongue
a branding iron that took
its time, burning the moment
into me, a wetness already
pearling there, his eyes
scratching out the prayers
I knew by heart, I who knew
there’d likely be nothing
left when he got through.