Conjugal Rites, by Scott Owens

Scott Owens

I was the first she wanted to marry.
No surprise there. Every dad
a daughter’s first love. But then
she felt bad about excluding her mom,
decided the three of us should tie the knot.
We had to tell her you only marry one
other person, at least you plan it that way
and mommy and I were already married
to each other. She moved on to first
one brother, then the other, both of whom said
you can’t marry your brother. So then
she tried her best friend, a girl, asked
to be clear if girls could marry each other.
Already thrice denied what could we say
to make sense to a four-year-old.
Yes, of course, but only in some places,
only where love is not proscribed by law.

(first published in Main Street Rag)

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