Explaining Marriage to an Alien by Peter Krumbach

No abduction. Just a hoop of light I felt like stepping into. 
At  a  folding   desk  with  a   box  of  pens   and   gum, it sat 
attempting    to    look    terrestrial.   The   beard  suggested 
friendliness, each finger sporting a painted nail. The voice? 
There was no voice. Questions slipped into  my  head by a 
wave of its hand. We know how to  swallow  the sun, bend 
time, outrun starlight, we’ve heard of your wars, greed, and 
lust. But tell us about marriage. Marriage? The  bond,  the 
bands, the terms ‘husband’ and ‘wife.’ The eight  billion of 
you agree on nothing but marriage. We must do  it. Whom 
does it please?   Cake  makers  at  first,  then   lawyers    and 
priests.  Does  it  cause  happiness?  Yes,  a  great joy.  A heat 
that grows  homicidal.  Don’t most of you divorce?   We do. 
And those who don’t? They’ve thought of it. So, you marry 
why? Love. The hand of hundred fingers. 

Peter Krumbach was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia. His most recent work has been or is about to be published in Beloit Poetry Journal, Bitter Oleander, jubilat, Massachusetts Review, New Ohio Review and Willow Springs. He lives in California.