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Ben Paynter

(Midwest)

A form of looking


Were you to know me, as I have known myself,
to watch the night moon fall heavily alongside
the river, let the current take you anywhere, as
my heart has led me by a tattered string. you

have not found me. why are you looking for
a part of me in old churches, the dust books,
the lined stores and poor lit basements. I am
no longer there, but look for me at night-

time when the windows are curtains to the soul
and there is firelight where all the lamps are burning.
look for me in quiet morning, when the eyes,
just waking from sleep, see only a portion

of my sins. I will not be where you have looked before,
not in the doldrums, not in the cold bed I rose from
this morning, not in the whiskey, rum, or beer.
I am not there, though I have been many nights.

It is a road, old cobblestone, a smooth blacktop
night running helter skelter into a blue morning.
to know me you must become a part of me.
the moon is down, the river's running mad again.

Submitted: Thursday, September 11, 2008
Edited: Monday, September 16, 2013

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