Lisa Birman: The Ceremony

Spring '08 TOC

I 1, Lisa Birman 2, take you 3 The United States of America 4, to be my lawful 5 country 6, to have and to hold, 7 for better 8 or for worse 9, for richer 10, for poorer 11, in sickness and in health 12, to love and to cherish 13; from this day forward 14 until death do us part 15.







1 And when I say “I,” I am not referring to a theory. I am skin and blood and bones. I am this particular package of thoughts and feelings. I am not to be messed with.
2 I may not have told you this. Lisa is a common name, I know, but mine is special.
3 I trust that you too are not a theory. I trust in your skin and blood and bones. In your collection of thoughts and feelings. I would like to meet you. Now that we are wed.
4 You used to be plural. Back in the day. They. Now you are single-minded, he or she. It is necessary to choose. You are a workaholic. I am afraid of being your wife.
5 I hope you understand the delicacy of my position. I could be swept away at any moment. For shoplifting. Or lying. I try not to do these things. I do not want to be stolen from you. But it is important that you understand the possibility.
6 You are not my only love. This will never be monogamous. My first love is Australia. I will not leave her. Not for you. I have also been seeing the Czech Republic. It is becoming serious. You should know. Also there is France. A flirtation, but we understand each other.
7 I hold you even when I am with another.
8 I do not need the world from you.
9 Only your arms. Lay down for me.
10 It's greedy, I know. One is supposed to have one love. It is supposed to be enough. I am a cliché. It's not you, it's me. I would be like this even if I did not find you lacking.
11 It must be said that neither of us is a prize.
12 We both have our problems.
13 I want you to know about me. What should I know about you?
14 Tell me a secret.
15 Something you've never told anyone.

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