Already Too Late
by Devon Balwit
The artist’s canvas shows it plain,
the rot behind the assurances
that all is OK. Far from it. We are
already gangrenous, the necrotic
creeping from our wounds, walls
gauze over bruises. Every surface
has been pounded, God revealed
as an angry smith. This rage
is the sound that keeps us awake
at three a.m. The door swells
outward with lingering questions.
Far from lovely, the carved blossoms
scrolling its edges evoke the obsessive
rooting of the hygienist deep in our gums.
And what of the hand, reaching
its limp kerchief around the frame?
Is she a mourner arrived too late
or the deceased come to staunch
the very tears she made flow?
Perhaps she’s back for the blown
wreath, wanting to be remembered
as other than wilt and browning.
(after Ivan Albright’s “That Which I Should Have Done I Did Not Do (The Door)")
* * * * *
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.