5 by 5
The day bright, and gone.
The door rises from the grass.
It may not be a door
but simply an opening.
The walls around the opening are thick, gray, stone.
There is a crack to the right of the gaping dark.
At the base, looking freshly arrived,
six yellow flowers,
curving in different directions.
Behind the doorway a track
no longer used,
ties overgrown with weeds.
At the upper left, a plane,
leaving a white trail pointing downwards
or upwards, depending on the perspective
of the person in the cockpit.
The grass around the blackness is green,
The faintest haze of a chain link fence, in the distance,
a small parking lot beyond it, possibly
one yellow dusty truck parked,
or possibly just waiting,
an eruption of water from a hydrant,
the sense that if we want to know where
we are, we are not,
even if that has been said before.
A black beetle, crawling around the door
to the center
of the world, world, world,
a slip of leaf in its pincers.
Max Winter’s poems have appeared previously in Ploughshares, Volt, The Yale Review, Denver Quarterly, Octopus, and elsewhere. His reviews have appeared in Bookforum, the San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and elsewhere. He is a Poetry Editor of Fence.