about the author

C. Wade Bentley lives, teaches, and writes in Salt Lake City. For a good time, he enjoys wandering the Wasatch Mountains and playing with his grandchildren. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Green Mountains Review, Cimarron Review, Best New Poets, New Ohio Review, Western Humanities Review, Subtropics, RATTLE, Chicago Quarterly Review, Raleigh Review, Reunion: The Dallas Review, Ilanot Review, and New Orleans Review, among others. A full-length collection of his poems, What Is Mine, was published by Aldrich Press in early 2015.

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Tie the Knot 

C. Wade Bentley

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Even when
the sails shake full
with wind, slap
against a cross wave,
the magic of the buntline hitch
only tightens, holds

To close
a resistant wound,
its edges scabrous
and frayed, a few
well-placed mattress
sutures may do
the trick.

To effect
fidelity, wrap the would-be
couple’s hands with silk
cords, slip gold bands
on left-hand ring fingers, recite
solemn spells—hell, break
wine glasses, if you like—

‘til death do us part,
when a single jolt
or a lifetime of gentle
nudging against the pier
will undo your fickle mooring
hitch, and every tie come to naught,
the grey skiff loosed now, tide going out.

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