The Bride Extrudes

First published in Big Muddy, Volume 16.2

Benjamin Harnett
1 min readDec 30, 2017


The bride extrudes as from the stones
of the wall like buttercream frosting
dabbed from the confectioner’s steel-tooth nozzle
into a flower, or like a real flower
waking in layers
from the heavy weight
of an enfolding bud. We are
caught between her growing beauty
and the impassable end
of the long balcony that, unroofed,
caps a side of Siena’s unfinished
cathedral. It is so long ago,
the camera of the photographer
who precedes her walking backward
is large, like a black cathedral
in his hands, lofty, architectural.

Vera and I waver
at our distance, the bride’s
dress beating like a flag,
the groom a shadow
to her brilliance
like the deeply imperfect
suitors she lists that her age allows
(and I am, briefly, one).
I do not believe in poetry
then, but believe there
before we slip past the wedding party
that I could believe again,
then descend.



Benjamin Harnett

Historian, poet, digital engineer. Fiction at @mooncityreview, @longform, & @BklynQly.