George Payne

Bengal Tracks

I do not know why I became
an atheist, not really.

But on some days I can feel
your presence

sitting in my mouth, still as
crouching eyelids in the sawgrass

near a watering hole in Borneo.
There I taste a humid breath and

feel steam on my skin, as if it is
coming from a burning curling iron.

Then it is gone. Just Bengal tracks
filled by mud and rain.

 

the world was born

wearing

a beige
cloth
hospital
gown

adoration
arising
between
husband
and wife

that
mystical
significance
made of
a trillion
alchemies

 


Born and raised in the Adirondack region of upstate New York, George Cassidy Payne is interested in the intersection of poetry, social justice, representations of spirituality, and concepts of self. He is a part-time professor of philosophy at the State University of New York (SUNY) and teaches workshops focusing on writing and philosophy. He holds master’s degrees in philosophical theology from Emory University and Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous journals, including Barnstorm Journal, Chronogram Magazine, Adelaide, the Adirondack Almanac, Tea House, The Mindful Word, Ink, Sweat, and Tears, the Scarlet Leaf Review, The Writing Disorder, Califragile, Zingara Poetry Review, Deep South Magazine, Allegro Poetry Review, and several others. His debut full-length collection, A Time Before Teachers, was released in 2019 from Cholla Needles Literary Press in Joshua Tree, CA.