Betrothal in B minor

All women bewail the betrothal of any woman,
beamy-eyed, bedazzled, throwing a fourth finger

about like a marionette. Worse than marriage
in many ways, an engagement, be it moments or millennia,

is a morbid exercise in hope, a mirage, a romance
befuddled by magazine photographs of lips, eye brows,

brassieres, B-cups, bromides, bimbos bedaubed
with kohl, rouged, bespangled, beaded, beheaded,

really, because a woman loses the brain
she was born with if she believes for a moment

she of all women will escape enslavement of mind,
milk, mooring, the machinations of centuries,

to arrive in a blissful, benign, borderless
Brook Farm where men are uxorious, mooning,

bewitched, besotted, bereft of all beastly,
beer-guzzling qualities. Oh, no, my dear

mademoiselle, marriage is no déjeuner sur l’herbe,
no bebop with Little Richard for eternity,

no bedazzled buying spree at Bergdorf or Bendel,
no clinch on the beach with Burt Lancaster

although it is sometimes all these things, it is
more often, to quote la Marquise de Merteuil, “War,”

but war against the beastliness within that makes
us want to behave, eat beets, buy beef at the market,

wash with Fab, betray our beautiful minds
tending to the personal hygiene of midgets.

My God, Beelzebub himself could not have manufactured
a more Machiavellian maneuver to bedevil an entire
species than this benighted impulse to replicate
ourselves ad nauseam in the confines of a prison

so perfect bars are redundant. Even in the Bible
all that begetting and begatting only led to misery,

morbidity, Moses, and murder. I beseech you,
my sisters, let’s cease, desist, refrain,

take a breather, but no one can because we are
driven by tiny electrical sparks that bewilder,

befog, beguile, becloud our angelic intellect.
Besieged by hormones, we are stalked by a disease

unnamed, a romantic glaucoma. We are doomed to die,
bespattered and besmirched beneath the dirt,

under the pinks and pansies of domestic domination.
Oh, how I loathe you–perfect curtains, exquisite chairs,

crPme brflée of my dreams. Great gods of pyromania,
begrudge not your handmaiden, your fool, the flames

that fall from your fiery sky, for my dress is tattered
and my shoes are different colors, blue and red.

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