We woke, in love, so new in love,
that as we lay there, watching
the flakes drift past my picture window,
the bedroom one that framed all my past
sexual encounters like a silent movie dialogue card,
the lovers with their O shaped mouths,
me, the heroine with wavy hair,
somehow you suggested we get married—
a practice wedding in the living room.
We spent the rest of the day preparing:
writing vows we meant after a month,
instead of unpacking all your boxes
into the dresser you brought over
from your old, destroyed home.
Instead, I went into the bedroom,
put on a dress the color of old blood stains
put through the wash so many times they become part of the pattern,
and you lit candles, waited for me to become part of you.
We began our life so quietly,
silent and deep as the snow, a shelter around us,
surprising my neighbor when we opened the door and said,
Take our picture. Look what we did.
Bryn Gribben is an instructor of English at Seattle University, but her students call her their steampunk fairy godmother. Bryn’s work can be found in such places as the Passengers Journal, Superstition Review, The Rappahannock Review, and in the anthology Suitcase of Chrysanthemums, among others. Tilde nominated her essay “Cabin” for a 2019 Pushcart Prize, and she was a finalist for the 2021 Creative Nonfiction Porch Prize. Her musical memoir, Amplified Heart: An Emotional Discography, is forthcoming this winter.