As A Fire Blazes in The Notre-Dame Cathedral

OTTAVIA PALUCH

we were cross-legged on the twin xl, 
soaked in k-cup coffee, buzzfeed quizzes 
& pinterest boards & we laid out 
improvised scale models of the venue on 
 
the dorm room floor,
highlighters for neon-eager guests &
a lanyard for the aisle. drunk on mini-fridge
wine & choreography to for the longest time 
 
culled from youtube videos, high on 
dry-erase marker & the sweet perfume of 
love. we watch as it hovers on the windowsill 
like a baby bird & i watch as it mixes with the 
 
skunk drifting up from the stoned kids, 
the stench of stone reality that hangs 
over the quad. & it rots, all the way through.
& ferments, into bitterness. see, not all 
 
scenes from a college wedding can be protected 
with the hardened pretty shell of 
engagement-ring-glitter or the rose-colored-haze of
alcohol, even if glitz & blush are embedded in the 
 
color scheme. i know what you think about love
& i think that you will fall out of it, & into
a caricature of pre-midlife crisis—
 
then the king & the queen went back to the green
but you can never go back there again.

 
& i will fall out with you & down into an 
abyss of ruined romantic-cyncism, veins filled with
dried-out flowers, inner monologue of
the wedding march in a minor key; a half-
 
smushed fondant bride and groom buried in
the chest cavity. everything is 
cliche here: borrowed tradition 
& borrowed time & billy joel, no matter 
how much you tried to resist, or at least
you insisted that you did.

OTTAVIA PALUCH is a disabled high school student who lives in Ontario, Canada. A Gigantic Sequins Teen Sequin in 2018, her work is published or forthcoming in Four Way Review, Kissing Dynamite, Room Magazine, Alexandria Quarterly, and Ghost City Review, among other places. Paluch has studied poetry under Jessica Lynn Suchon during the 2019 Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program, as well as under Matt Mitchell during Flypaper Lit’s 2020 workshop on poetic forms.

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