IN ANTICIPATION OF
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
Soon you will shatter against me in a spray
of salt and broken things,
before sucking back into the swell to gather
The sound of you penetrates, the tremor
of invisible faults.
Imprudent, I have prepared nothing and
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.