“Wedding Invitation Elegy” by Joshua Borders

Snotty-nosed on Santa’s lap, we dripped 

our ecstasy: ravishing light, rainbow 

butterflies, dodgeballs zipping 

through the Church of Christ gym. 


My dear, you have chosen 

martyrdom, like your mother 

before you – her mother, too. 

My mother 


Now eats strawberry salad on a bed 

of spinach as she whispers prayers 

for my rehabilitating brother as he pets two dogs 

that shake as my sister shouts,  

Forgiveness for a better tomorrow! 

and, The world is my fingertip! 


Friend, the moment you die  

and are reborn with a new last name, 

the moment your body is torn 

like string cheese, the moment you dab vomit 

from your child’s sheets, you will ask, 

Is life for me? And I will send you a letter 


with this poem inside it and a picture 

of two children on Santa’s lap, his beard 

a temple, their smiles a hallelujah.