/d balwit


I hold a glass to the ear of your concern,
amplifying the dark throb,

till all of me tingles, as I do on the crest
of orgasm.

Soon you will shatter against me in a spray
of salt and broken things,

before sucking back into the swell to gather
once again.

The sound of you penetrates, the tremor
of invisible faults.

Imprudent, I have prepared nothing and
will suffer,

my empty hands beseeching from the frame.
That time is not yet.  

For now, I press myself to you, so concentrated,
you might be sleeping.


Of course, there’s something under the bed—
I am there, and what is scarier

than me, knowing each weakness, the exact
phrase that undoes, skillful

as a butcher with whetted knife.  Under the bed,
that me has all the time

in the world; indeed, wraps herself in my goose-
bumped flesh as in the warmest

blanket, making lewd gestures and awaiting
my reaction.  I have groped for myself,

and we have scratched one another, bearing away
hanks of hair and pieces

of earlobe.  We lick our wounds and lay siege.
During the day, I can pretend

I don’t exist, but snuffing the light returns us
to one another.

Even now, I extend my claws, one by one,
bright points with my name.

Devon Balwit is a teacher and writer from Portland, OR. She has two chapbooks forthcoming in 2017: how the blessed travel, from Maverick Duck Press, and Forms Most Marvelous, from dancing girl press. Her recent work has found many homes, among them: Cincinnati Review, Red Earth Review, Noble/Gas Quarterly, Peacock Review, The Meadow, The Stillwater Review, Oyez, Timberline Review, The Bookends Review, and Kindred.

Author’s note: These two poems are ekphrastic, inspired by Cristina Troufa’s The Gift and Under the Bed, respectively.