Marriage • Nathan Fredrick

What has become of romance

Does commitment mean anything


Courtship must alter its course

Opposing the wind for too long

Love has been falling

Finally, love stretches its arms

Shifting carefully to the upright


No longer horizontal

Ready for action

Walking down the street I wave hello

To a bicycled white man who looks

Like someone I know but he is not

These men all have similar uniforms

But I love them

Hello I wave at the black men

Treading the concrete alongside me

They are my neighbors I want to know

I love them despite my country

Insisting I shouldn’t

I ignore the flashing screen’s instruction

And submerge in the external nervous system

Admire the homosexuals

Who are teaching this lesson


Admire the mothers

Who choose poverty in order

For their children to grow up without pasts


Admire the women

But not in a fashion resembling assault


Admire the blathering demented

Zig-zagging the roadways


Admire the workers

Steeped in profanity


Admire the gangs

and your fear they feed from


Love no longer sleeps

In bedtime stories

Of chivalry and sacrifice

We must bow to our neighbors 

Embrace every being

Extend their limbs to ours

The world is to be wed

To an evil Ebenezer

We must rescue it

For all to share

The old love too selfish

Only functions behind closed doors

Sleeping love becomes fluid

Waking love is fluid

Matter that can take any form

We can breathe it together 

Creating more with each exhalation 

Admire the angry


Admire the tearful

Admire your arguing neighbors

Who forget they do not live in a cave 

Everyone in love with everyone!

The weird, the dirty, the preppy, the rebel, the LOUD,

the soft, the CEO

Please love the CEO and take from him every

thing he owns


If we continue assigning union

Of pairs in preference to all

We are duped

Into Earth ablaze that eats our skins

Each apathy feeding air to each flame


Love must stop falling

Love must stand up

Everyone, please,

Marry me

-Nathan Fredrick, from Parallelograms, V.A.P. 2014