Bungee-jump wedding
by Rochelle Ratner

But of course, her mother says, doesnt everyone jump into
marriage before they
re ready?  No, she explains, not jump
into marriage, bungee jump.  Then of course she has to
explain all the gear and wires.  Her mother speaks of riding
the Ferris wheel and the carousel.  And on TV she saw
people jump from burning buildings.  The only thing that
burning is our love for each other, she says, realizing half a
second too late what she
s just said.  And no, shes not
pregnant, no, she
s not trying to kill the baby with a foolish
act like this.  Still, her mother refuses to ride up to the top
and witness the ceremony itself, and once they plunge she
turns away from the happy couple clinging to each other all
the way down.

by Rochelle Ratner

But only for those who purchase platinum wedding rings.  Worth
more than gold, they claim.  More durable.  Able to withstand
higher temperatures.  She takes her lover
s hand, feels the
warmth of his fingers.  They
ve traveled to Japan to seek his
s blessings on their marriage.  Already theyve gotten past
half a dozen airport screeners.  A tumor on his neck has proved
benign.  Still, what if the marriage doesn
t last?  She pictures them
five years from now, hurling the useless disks toward the empty
sky.  Some space-suited scavenger picks one up and wears it in his
nose forever.


Rochelle Ratners latest books of poetry include Balancing Acts
(Marsh Hawk Press, 2006), Beggars at the Wall (Ikon, 2006),
House and Home (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003).  Ratner is the
author of fifteen previous poetry collections and two novels,
and The Lions Share, both published by Coffee House Press.  
Her anthology,
Bearing Life: Women’s Writings on Childlessness,
was published in January 2000 by The Feminist Press.  More
information can be found on her website at

On “Bungee-jump wedding” and “Vows of love to be stored in space”:
The poems included here are, technically, what I think of as prose
poems. They
re based on weird news stories that Ive found on
the Internet. As someone who writes both poetry and fiction I see
these as a link between the two.

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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 1, Number 2
(Fall 2006)

Copyright © 2006
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

All future rights to material
published in the
Valley Review
are retained
by the individual authors
and artists.

Vows of love to be stored
in space