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Audio: Read by the author. 


There are two ways to marry: right and wrong.
The right way is to find the proper mate:
God-fearing, wise and prudent, chaste and strong
(They say such folks exist)—then you await—

Stemming your desire until you’re wed—
The fierce abandon of the marriage bed.
Without hypocrisy you’ll teach your heirs
To live well and resist the devil’s snares.

The other way’s what films and novels show:
You fall in love, you fall in bed, you live
Together maybe, marry, and divorce.

And what can we who took the latter course
But cautionary lessons glumly give
Of what we did—not what we lately know?


Andrew Sorokowski was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and grew up in San Francisco. He has worked as a writer, researcher, teacher, and editor. His translations of the Ukrainian poet Natalka Bilotserkivets have appeared in Subprimal Poetry Art and Peacock.

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