Lee Potts

Saints Layered like Leaves

Great aunt Jenny Palmer,
brought back from her circuit of
chapels, crypts, and grottoes,
cards made holy by the imposition
of ink and expectation.

Gathered, then left, 
like losing lotto tickets,
for me to slip into forced
hot air heating vents.
The ticks and bangs
from the furnace below
scared me further into piety.
Spinning them into the dark, I prayed
that a little light would carry them a long way
and never once wondered what was burning.

I launched others down gullies
into storm drains. 
I imagined a few made it out to sea,
swallowed up by fish,
and spit back out on the coast where
each could do the most good.

For years, one earned bloodless, 
push pin stigmata, and edified all
through his heroic melancholy
from my bedroom bulletin board.

                  . . . .

Silent now,
prayers finally wound down,
I turn to sleep, 
sheets tangling ankles.
I’m accompanied by a bedside drawer full
of saints layered like leaves,
pressing together lives centuries apart,  
and increasing, with their density, 
the frequency of miracles.

Lee Potts is a poet with work in The Painted Bride QuarterlyGargoyleDoor is a Jar, and Cold Creek Review. He has two poems forthcoming in Saint Katherine Review. He lives just outside of Philadelphia and you can find him online at leepotts.net.