Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts

Manners

by Steve Lapinsky

If my memory serves me,
I was the last person to ask my cousin
about the girl he was going to marry.
There had been worries
about her family. They were eccentric and rude.
I suppose you can’t pick who intoxicates you
or fills your eyes with diplopic hope.
I recall a man, very drunk
on the bride’s side, nearly ripping my aunt’s arm out of its socket,
dragging her to the dance floor.

Well, he didn’t leave the reception empty-handed,
pocketing some envelopes from the nuptial basket
during those spoonfuls of cake.
He was permitted to say his goodbyes,
even shook hands with a few extremely poor groomsmen
unionizing in the other room.
In fact, he met every doorjamb
in the Detroit VFW Hall that evening
as we escorted him from the premises,
offering him up to the forgotten night.