Romesh Dissanayake

If I get married

I’ll get married in a church

’Cause that’s what you want

The old wooden pews at St Peter’s

I’ll have you, if you’ll have me

Cue: organs and fanfare

Throw rice and flowers and cans on

Leo’s old limousine from the ‘90s

It’ll be a ball

But don’t worry what else

We could have spent the money on

(Tools for the shed, heat pump,

More succulents)

(Etc, etc)                                                           

Just pretend it’s Fiji, baby

Ah gawd, the priest is going to make jokes

Ah gawd, I’m going to have to not cry

Prob will cry

My masculinity slipping

Should wear that belt

I brought from the States

With the big buckle

Make a big statement

And who will cater?

Sausage rolls or …?

Salmon as an option!

Option of three!!

No options : (

If that’s what you want

This marriage thing

These pew bums

These formal pants

And tight collars

And I don’t mind but

Just want to let you know

Mum will probably wear

Something like a limp

Swan around her neck like black isn’t

Menacing, isn’t


Under these circumstances

I’ll do the dance

I’ll smile as I’m trying

To hold it all in

Don’t I get a wee break?

To duck out

To see Tim and Kieran and James

Sometimes I sneak

Out and do chores when we fuxk

And basic arithmetic

Over reruns of Friends

Oh, the places I’ve been

The things that I …

But I’ll say my bit

And play with the kids

On child safety

Mode signing the treaty

Diana’s bloodshot eyes

Old purse on her lap

Dave sighing

Hand over shoulder

Dusty I’ll-make-you-proud dad-suit

Our parents

Sparring perspiring

What’s your sister’s husband’s name again?

I get a weird vibe from them

Weird commune vibe

Kāpiti Coast vibe

(Jessuschryst just comb the boy’s hair, Margaret)

But I’ll do it for you

I’ll make a raise-your-glass toast

I’m not nervous but numb

If I get drunk, I’ll fall on my bum

And spin aunty Susan

Like a carrot

And soup my sleeves

And say nothing and spend

All the time in the bathroom

Using the hand dryer

As a clothes dryer


Faith leaps and pamphlets

And presents

And cake


if it was me

if i could suggest …

i say

we find a horse

with a patina mane

braid it with mussels

that clunk in the wind

and my penis would be

the size of the pacific

and you, luce, could backstroke

and we’d slip into

creamed-apricot sunsets

on egg yolk inflatables

everything’ll be peachy

custardy even

this time, this way

no aunties, no organs

just shapes and sizes

forms and iterations

i’d dip my feet

grow out my hair

fashion a moustache

fashion a house

and like flounder frames

and karengo

splintered and drifting

we’d sway and say

fuxk ceremony

no hexes

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