This poem appears in the Winter-Spring 2011 issue of Modern Age. To subscribe now, go here.
Marriage is poorly figured when we say,
“We tied the knot.” A knot can be untied
this side of death, both going their own way;
a marriage only ends when one has died.
So let us say, instead, “We sewed the stitch.”
For stitches pierce to make a permanence,
a taut and sturdy two-in-oneness which
is sundered only by death’s violence.
Just so, in matrimony’s paradigm,
witnessed before the crucifixion’s altar,
the Bridegroom was not knotted to the tree,
but pierced with needle nail-strokes for all time:
he wed the Church in order to exalt her
to heaven’s indissolubility.