Pop the Question

By Shriya Venkatesh

No solitaire for me.
No graceful descent into maiden-aunthood,
Spoiling hordes of nieces and nephews rotten,
Magenta hat perched just so – jaunty on my graying curls…
None of that; it’s not in the cards.
Also no white dress floating between pews
No shy glimpse by mirror under a veil
No glass triumphantly crushed.
I know what I will get (I do).

I am greedy for you, somehow.
For the shape of your eyebrows and shoulders
The color of your palms and teeth
Your unconscious sussurrations.
I wonder about your jacket linings (fuzzy or furry?)
And whether you like radishes
And your policy on houseplants
Are you quiet or loud in anger?
I want everything and also none of you.

You are my most terrible fiction.
I cannot imagine the monster both suited to me and my family.
Why would I ever lovehate someone enough to show them my reactants?
Aren’t the products combustible enough?
I don’t know, you impossible creature!
You frighten me in your inevitability and your paradox.

Because if I will have you,
You must already be.
In some early, unfinished incarnation.
My unripe doom.
My prototype love.

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