“Bridal” by Greg Sendi

As when in summer fauns will peel
acanthus leaves and juniper for food
or crush new eucalyptus under heel
that earthward from each tender shoot

drop balms to scent the fleshy air,
so will the footfalls of the meadow bride,
compressing sage and jasmine, maidenhair
and sparrowgrass, the countryside

exhaling censers down the slope
when she arrives. And so will her advance
express a must of memory and hope
from us, as from the meadow plants,

like sacks of orient spices full
to bursting, cracking open as she comes,
no usury so ravenous but will
be glutted to delirium

when she appears, whose loveliness
itself the gentle liquor of the lands
delivers here in us as austere Pentheus
was ushered to the hilltop dance.

Still when she nears again we feel
what we already know: the world abides
forever, though corruption dance its reel,
there is a garden place inside

whose only holy canon tells
there is no law but love, whose ancient wells
and woodland paths obscure reveal the ways
that we are made of promises and days.

Greg Sendi is a Chicago writer and former fiction editor at Chicago Review. His stories and poetry have been published in a number of literary magazines and online outlets, including recent appearances in Apricity, CONSEQUENCE, Plume, Pulp Literature, upstreet, and in the ’emerging writers’ collection of The Masters Review.

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