Still a full year shyof 60 and they’ve started.I make disastersI never would havemade awake.I’m sure I’ll losemy job. This damn map is just lastyear’s calendar and father’swatch is all I’ve given myselffor a compass. Words comethrough walls. But I already knewthat. All the flooded streetslead to the lake.The magic bean I heldback from mother sticksin my throat.You browse about at yourown risk in these dreams.It’s best to not stop, to nottry to see into the oceanas if it was air, to keepto the clearest pathwatch hands will allowbecause you’re alwaysrunning late.
I would have turned to saltlooking back at what
we had. So all driftwood was burnedbefore we could lash it into
a raft. Nails from boards oncepart of a boat or a home broken
by storms we never saw, freedby our burning, dropped
into the embers. Quiet thingsthat burrowed into wet,
dead wood dried upand died. I had once planned
for a sail made like a god’sshirt and music made with
the hollow bones of birds.The wind brought enough smoke
to bless me and to stopme from singing
of what I would not have sacrificedin order to set sail.
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.”