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Peter Leight

Evidence of my Innocence

Evidence of my Innocence

Opening up like a checkbook,

emptying my pockets

and taking everything out,

I’m not the one

who’s not even talking.

Can you say show me?

What I like about the evidence is it’s not even suspicious,

is it better when you don’t even know

what you don’t need to? 

Better than what? 

It’s true there are things you know about yourself that nobody else knows,

I don’t think it’s suspicious,

I often sit down and look straight up in the air, all the way up, as if there’s a window opening up there,

when I look through the window

I’m not the one who’s not afraid to look,

this is how I know

I’m not doing anything wrong,

It’s true, when something happens there’s always something else that isn’t happening at the same time,

sometimes the evidence is lacking,

or incomplete—

or is it evidence of incompleteness? 

There are also times when you think you know what’s happening but you don’t know what you’re not thinking about,

it could be anything else,

isn’t innocence a kind of openness?

what I like about the evidence is it’s evidence of something,

what is evidence of nothing? 

If there’s something that hasn’t happened

I don’t know anything about it,

as long as I’m innocent I’m dropping my shoulders and putting my hands down in a safe place

where they’re not doing anything wrong,

what I like about the evidence is I’m not getting anything on my hands—

of course there are other ways of making a mess,

some of which don’t involve evidence at all,

some of which aren’t even innocent,

can you say show me?

I often think the evidence personal,

although it doesn’t belong to anybody,

I mean I’m not going to keep it for myself

or share it with anybody else,

why wouldn’t I?

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Peter Leight has previously published poems in Paris Review, AGNI, FIELD, Beloit Poetry Review, Raritan, Matter, and other magazines.  

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