The bridegroom comes
He fell in love with her jade eyes
searching for him on the river bank
a few miles above Mobile
at her father’s fishing camp.
He spoke to her through
Gulf breezes and gray-dawn gulls
and lavished prophecies on her
the way tides speak of the deep.
Anointing her words, he poured
ancient Seraphic chants and
refrains, without rhyme, into her
voice as joyful as timbrels at betrothals.
Next to her curl-edged Bible
she kept her cigarettes, lit lamps
waiting in the moonless, salty night
ready when he called her back
across the river raptured with stars,
their flasks overflowing with oil.