Wednesday, 13 June 2018


In Retrospect,                                            by Devon Balwit


the mistake was to trust
machines, their makers,
my will, to be stronger
than sly algorithms,
the dopamine rush of
the ever-larger number.

The mistake was to offer up
one part after another in
a peep-show to strangers,
assuming one would fall
in love, my very own
happily ever after.

The mistake was not to leave
once I knew, but what
a profusion of flowers after
the fat lip, the cloy of lilies
over blood, the belonging
signaled by the blue bruise.

The mistake was to turn
my back on the children,
thinking them safe
in their rooms, the camera
slowly panning over
the slack-faced teddy bear.

The mistake was to absent myself
from seasons, from lungs
and rough hide, itch and chaff,
the pebble in the shoe,
the slow hours where nothing
yet everything happens.


* * * * *

Devon Balwit teaches in Portland, OR. She has six chapbooks and three collections out, among them: We are Procession, Seismograph (Nixes Mate Books), Risk Being/Complicated (A collaboration with Canadian artist Lorette C. Luzajic); Where You Were Going Never Was (Grey Borders); and Motes at Play in the Halls of Light (Kelsay Books). Her individual poems can be found here as well as in The Cincinnati Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Fifth Wednesday, the Aeolian Harp Folio, Red Earth Review, Queen's College Quarterly, The Fourth River, The Free State Review, Red Paint Hill, and more.