Marrying the Villain
Bethany Reid

Marrying the Villain

Even in my dreams
we marry in a garden,
pond full of rushes and swans,
the call of blackbirds.
The bridesmaids are my sisters
and not my sisters, wearing dresses
of rose petals.
In life, the wedding music
was voices and a guitar.
The dream drags out a baby grand,
puddle of reflecting light,
notes puddling
as rain begins, the keys
dripping a lavender Bach.
On our wedding day
you refused to dance.
I did without, but if
our marriage were a novel,
that would be the moment
when her heart chips open.
The dream wants dancing—
finds the arms of a masked man,
villain or hero,
who waltzes me down
a hillside strewn with buttercups
and goose droppings,
spinning me faster and faster,
my white dress lifting around us
like a flock of whistling swans.

Bethany Reid

is the author, most recently, of Sparrow, winner of the 2012 Gell Poetry Prize. Her poems have lately appeared in Cheat River Review, New Madrid, Poetry Northwest, Windfall, and the anthology All We Can Hold. She lives in Edmonds, Washington, with her husband and daughters.