issue 8poetry

The Ocean’s Only Word (cont’d)

Lee Potts

I worked for your mother 
one summer digging. Setting roots 

tangled up in soil from some other place
into holes about as deep 

and wide as a kettle. 
I relished disturbing stones

and my sweat soaked into the heart
roots of a dozen peach tree saplings.

That island didn’t need an orchard 
and the ocean was too close.

A horse dies on the beach
every few years. 

Guts twisted by sand 
they take in along 

with the surf grass.
They tear up the dunes 

as they die,
leaving a record of pain 

that the wind revises 
as soon as they become still.

We found one that summer just out 
of reach of a full moon’s high tide.

The sand on its eye like sugar 
on the back of a spoon.

Lee Potts is the author of the chapbook And Drought Will Follow and is poetry editor at Barren Magazine. His work has appeared in The Night Heron Barks, Rust + Moth, Whale Road Review, UCity Review, Firmament, Moist Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. He lives just outside of Philadelphia. He’s @LeePottsPoet on Twitter.