by Chelsea B. DesAutels
Featured Art: “Panel No. 1” (Leaning on a Parapet) by Georges Seurat
The night before, we’d eaten fried walleye
with tartar sauce in a big white tent and passed
the quaich filled with Irish whiskey to our loved ones
who sipped and said blessings. There was music.
You played guitar. I went to bed early, happy.
You joined me later, happy. The next morning,
we woke to snow and gray skies. All morning long,
I cried and heaved and my mother and bridesmaids
whispered, afraid I was having my doubts. I wasn’t.
I was rupturing—a violent fissure between
my wanting to be good at loving and wanting
everything, like a river island suddenly shorn
from the bank and flooded by ice melt. Over my dress,
I wore a fur stole that I’d found two summers earlier
in a roadside antique store. We’d been road-tripping
through the northwoods, you behind the wheel,
me gazing out the window at Lake Superior, a body
displaced by thousands of shipwrecks.
Chelsea B. DesAutels’s work appears or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, Missouri Review, Copper Nickel, Massachusetts Review, Adroit Journal, Pleiades, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere. Natasha Trethewey named Chelsea’s manuscript, Metastasis, the finalist for the AWP Award Series Donald Hall Prize in Poetry. She received an MFA from the University of Houston, where she served as Poetry Editor of Gulf Coast. She lives with her family in Minneapolis.