Old Man Dreams

Still a full year shy
of 60 and they’ve started.
I make disasters
I never would have
made awake.
I’m sure I’ll lose
my job. This damn map is just last
year’s calendar and father’s
watch is all I’ve given myself
for a compass. Words come
through walls. But I already knew
that. All the flooded streets
lead to the lake.
The magic bean I held
back from mother sticks
in my throat.
You browse about at your
own risk in these dreams.
It’s best to not stop, to not
try to see into the ocean
as if it was air, to keep
to the clearest path
watch hands will allow
because you’re always
running late.

The sea grew calm far out from land

I would have turned to salt
looking back at what

we had. So all driftwood was burned
before we could lash it into

a raft. Nails from boards once
part of a boat or a home broken

by storms we never saw, freed
by our burning, dropped

into the embers. Quiet things
that burrowed into wet,

dead wood dried up
and died. I had once planned

for a sail made like a god’s
shirt and music made with

the hollow bones of birds.
The wind brought enough smoke

to bless me and to stop
me from singing

of what I would not have sacrificed
in order to set sail.

Going Through

doors that dissolved in the fire / doors that
only open once / doors that never close once
opened / doors the wind opens to enter the
world / doors that want to be windows /
glass doors light is able to ignore / doors too
heavy for their hinges / dead doors piled in
the basement / ornamental doors leading out
of places you never want to leave / the doors
of the tabernacle / a door sealed by song on
the other side / doors that wear part of a
circle into the carpet / the last door of a
martyr / a door held closed with a chair /
doors that need words written on them / the
door across the hall from your hotel room /
the door you walk into in the dark / doors
that want to have just one face / the door of
one who lives alone / the airplane door that
can’t open in flight / the elevator door that
won’t slide open in time for you to escape /
death’s door / every door with a hand poised
on the handle / the door you keep closed on
your anger / 24 cardboard Advent calendar
doors / doors that dissolved for love / an
alarmed door / the door that somehow keeps
ghosts out in the hall / a locked door where
one isn’t needed / the way / the way one
leads to another / the way every list
threatens infinity

Lee Potts says, “In 2017, I returned to writing poetry after a 25-year hiatus. Before that, I earned an M.A. in creative writing from Temple University. I was an editor of Painted Bride Quarterly in the late 80’s and early 90s and am currently poetry editor at Barren Magazine. I live just outside of Philadelphia with my wife and our youngest kid still at home. My chapbook, And Drought Will Follow, was released by Frosted Fire Press in April 2021.”