For Troy Hutton
We walk down the aisle together, he and I,
holding hands, shaking with held-in giggles:
too serious at thirteen, I am the man atop
the wedding cake come alive with blown-out
Afro and clip-on tie beside a cloud of gauze
and lace, my cousin, billowing, veil hiding
the thin hairs of his first mustache.
No one is surprised. All seem comfortable with
our mocking, pray this Tom Thumb dress-up
and pretend will purge us of the thing they fear,
both of us too quiet, different, strange -- they have
suspicions, other names lying in wait to hang
on our thin shoulders if we do not reform, repent,
'grow out of it.'
High on Communion wine transformed
into grape juice, we race to fly out of this
church, those clothes, that small town,
into cities, adulthood, our true names.
Seal our vows of escape with a stolen kiss.