The tilt of the camera caught
the groom as he danced
with his mother-in-law.
It didn't intend to catch the left corner
where the young bride sat, face to the wall.
It caught me, too—swelling her belly
under satin pleats, the result of revenge
against an ex-lover, a luckless souvenir.
I made the town grapevine stretch
and crackle, matronly throats cluck
with condolence, senior high boys
stock up on Trojans.
I was the busted chair at the bottom
of the stairwell, the bruise that blossomed
upon her pink thigh, the scowl as her father
opened his wallet.
I was the box of Kotex that stayed
in the closet, the forsaken plan
to attend the class party,
the diploma withheld at Graduation.
I was the pallor that hung
over the reception hall,
the hapless shrug of the best man's
shoulders, the priest's heavy sigh.
That brick weight was me
on my father's thin chest,
those darting shadows
in my mother's eyes, in this
the only photo I've been able to find
of the three of us together.