ben westlie

On Wanting to be a Witch

As a young boy
I wanted to be a witch.
To hold a crystal ball and tell fortunes like secrets.
To be hideous is to be an observer.
Forecasting further into where I could be.
Every year, birthdays, holidays
I went on a search into sand piles to find an orb, a quartz
small enough to hide in my pocket to possess.
Some kind of trickery to create an alibi.
How I wanted to wear veils and to reveal my face would be to be luminous
Time wanted nothing
to do with staying still or investing in the imaginary.
I learned later as an adult that a warlock
was a male witch, that men couldn’t be
so enchanting.
Please tell me the spell for the way back to believing in anything.

Ben Westlie holds an MFA in Poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts. His is the author of four chapbooks Sometimes Out of Turn, Extraordinary Construction, The Performance, and Under Your Influence all published by Finishing Line Press. His work has appeared in the anthology Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets Under 25 selected by Naomi Shihab Nye and the journals Third Coast, The Fourth River, Atlas and Alice, The Talking Stick and The Battered Suitcase.