run while you can

Muted organs.

Treble. Icheon, South Korea. Summer 2011.

Wedding bells sang in celebration of age old sacrament, linking families, (ex)changing names.
Outside the church, a circulating saw rang, pitting one alloy against another, crying for attention.

A baby began to cry. The bride and groom severed their intense, affectionate stare.
The priest coughed curtly, calling order in the court, calm in the unruly sanctuary.

The saw relented, the baby hushed, and the couple regained composure. Grace was restored.
Nevertheless, the ceremony continued precariously, anxiously awaiting further interruption.

The bride’s sister took to the pulpit. She religiously opened to First Corinthians.
“Love is patient, love is kind; it does not …” she preferred the King James version.
//
A dilapidated station-wagon roared outside, seemingly doing donuts in the parking lot.
Cicadas sounded, arguing with the summer. A dog barked. The saw began anew its onslaught.

Murmur rose among the oddly affiliated attendants. Again, the bride and groom lost connect.
The priest stirred out of annoyance. “For God’s sake, would someone please close the windows?!”

Bridesmaids and groomsmen scurried about, fastening closures on a myriad of arched windows.
Although silence was reinstated in the chapel, the stagnant air instantly became unbearable.

The heat devoured witnesses. Beads of sweat collected on the priest’s brow; he persisted.
Heavy breathing filled the chamber; the baptismal font threatened to boil over. Silence burned.
//
By the time the order was given to kiss the bride, the groom had taken on a ghastly appearance.
His condition was a combination of last minute, fiery apprehension and exhaustion, a living hell.

The newlyweds met lips for the first time. The affection was salty and in no way sweet.
Their civil union was now recognized in the eyes of the almighty. The deed was done.

The crowd flocked out of the church with dreary precision. Outside, the circular saw buzzed loudly.
To many ears, the ringing came as a relief. Escape aside, cake consumed the collective conscience.

One by one, the wedding party boarded the air-conditioned bus-limousine. Champagne popped.
The sweltering church was left in the dust. Healthy feasting and a spotless dance floor waited.

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