C. Wade Bentley: “Third Rail”


A woman in a black coat stands
like any other at the edge of the train

platform, though this one stays

while others come and go,
having, perhaps, a particular train

in mind and not liking the look

of any of these, looking, between
arrivals, as far down the tunnel

as the turn. From time to time,

she puts one foot forward,
out over the barrow where the rails

run to all the places she’s already

been, out where the third rail
hums and curls into a curve

like an electric eel—before pulling it

back again when the next train
heaves into station, noisome

as a dragon, letting other humans off

and on, just the one still of two
minds, but entertaining a third.

C. Wade Bentley teaches and writes in Salt Lake City. His poems have been published in journals such as Cimarron Review, Best New Poets, Rattle, Chicago Quarterly Review, Pembroke Magazine, and Poetry Northwest. A full-length collection of his poems, What Is Mine, was published by Aldrich Press in 2015.

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