Sugaring / Anne Cefola
About the Author:
Ann Cefola's poetry has been published in California Quarterly, Confrontation and The Louisville Review, her essays in Ape Culture and translations in Rhino. In 2001, Pulitzer Prize winner John Ashbery selected her work for the Robert Penn Warren Award. She also holds an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. Ann works as a creative strategist with her own company, Jumpstart LLC. She and her husband, Michael, live in the New York suburbs with their two dogs.
- Hartness State Airport, Springfield, Vermont
When her father walks her up the grass aisle, it is as if a tow line snaps:
The bride spins upward. She sees the sun-tanned shoulders
of bridesmaids who seem to stand in salute. Groom, wanting to follow,
anchored by anxiety and black leather shoes.
Ring-bearer, in his miniature-man suit, runs for a better look.
Flower girl’s freshly washed curls lean back as she squints into sky.
Mouths of matriarchs fall open. No sound
but state flag whips, rope-lock clangs. In the chrome
of a nearby motorcycle, a silk satellite ascends. Who can tell
cloud from veil as she flashes white, and gray-vanishes?
We watch her as museum-goers gaze at a Chagall lover mid-air
as she blissfully arabesques in updrafts,
weekend gliders avoiding her pearl-seeded train.
We ancient married know: She must come down,
silks blowing like Winged Victory, she will tell her love
formulas of physics not addressed in the cleric’s red book.
Warn him now: Having tasted weightlessness,
she’ll always pull upward like a tethered airship,
both hands reaching for his, saying, Let’s explore the Elliptic.