Drift by Martin Ott


Snow banks collect secrets, not just trees sucking on the memories of clouds but the vast underside of innocence. I once lost my glasses playing in the backyard drifts. In every bedroom, a boy looks for himself under a sheet of tightly packed lies. I searched for months while walking the dachshund in crocheted booties, hoping my parents wouldn’t discover my carelessness. How could that legendary phone booth hold twenty frat boys and a stressed-out Superman? My parents did not notice my missing specs. The mystery of soda fountains blur to pot dispensaries. I snuck shots from the Scotch and waters I made them. Grains of rice tossed on newlyweds are unique in their own way and hold an indecipherable inscription. Was I scared of being erased? The coat set over a puddle on a romantic walk hides a broken jaw. The wind whips divots in the gray slush the day I recover the battered frames without lenses. Uh oh. Why did we bury everything beneath a carpet of whiteness, a dream that has never been?


A veteran and long-time resident of Los Angeles, Martin Ott is the author of eight books, including a poetry book and novel forthcoming on C&R Press. He has won the De Novo and Sandeen book prizes for his first two poetry collections. His work has appeared in more than two hundred magazines and a dozen anthologies.