I Do by Meggie Royer

She slices the fins off sideways, removes them with

pointer finger and pinky, its belly edged in salt.

The clouds run low across the plains,

their fullness scattering the tumbleweeds

like feral deer,

panes rattling in the windows.

She works quickly against the storm

plunges her palm in like a pulse,

up to the hilt in its draining pink.

The ring buries itself deep,

a pearl in the mouth of the dead;

the stitches go through & through

until the silver wound is sewn shut

like a puckered scar.

At the river’s edge, it wriggles

and strains.

Doesn’t know yet the life it holds,

the eighteen years of marriage

& three times as many bottles of gin.

A kind of release, finally,

as it rushes through the currents

against the darkening wind.