Cori A. Winrock

Bridal Pyre

The bride awaits in a room with a horse-

drawn ambulance idling in her chest—
her dowry an empire of snowed-over

backstreets. No sidewalks salted; no plows
dredging their residual black glass-

phalt demilunes. The sawing sound comes
from above not below—it’s the groom drawing

a tune from a bow’s warp & halving, the bride’s

wet dress & the bride: eyelets & yes-
lets, exposed neck & hands: post flammable.

The ambulance a tindering stalled. A cure-all.

Inside the plastic bags of funereal flora the cut
stems exhale the walls to condensation, like too-much

kissing in a fastened car: a breathpattern:
the fingerdrawn heart & its banal arrow-

pierce. But I am forgetting to pronounce the bride
still aflame—the yartzeit undoused inside her

ash-lassoed mouth. I am forgetting
to define that I’m still the bride—

the shock always a palpable suitor;
my own little defibrillator.

Cori A. Winrock’s first book, This Coalition of Bones, is forthcoming from Kore Press in early 2014. Her poems have appeared in (or are waiting in the wings of) Anti-, the Best New Poets anthology, Black Warrior Review, Colorado Review, From the Fishouse, and elsewhere. She won the 2012 SLS St. Petersburg Review Award and was a semi-finalist for the “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Contest. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at SUNY Geneseo.