Coda al Fine
The owl of Minerva flies at dusk.
In terms of human history, it’s very late.
We have stopped being hounds
and lift our faces to the coming dark.
We see the brink and the path
that brought us, but cannot halt.
Metis forged her infant armor
in the womb, but we emerge naked,
pushed out, and petulant thereafter.
We’ll take the whole world
down with us, gods not of a thousand works
but a thousand wrecks, the chuff of foul engines.
For a Few Moments
The old mirror was all joy now,
proud to have embraced
total beauty for a few moments.
The skin of the eyes takes the moment’s bore,
needling to dermis, some bleeds, some blurs.
Tenderly, you drop lids like a bandage
beneath which cells repair, dutiful. Later,
you peel back to pink. How surprising
this suturing, once crust pulls free.
readily, rage rises in me, draft-lifted,
till I swear my hair afire, innards
soot-soldered, mouth a brand, those close
bellowing at hide-sear, me ever-feeding
white heat through fanned coals, trunk
char clear to ground. still I hope,
come a day, from crown, a green shoot
gropes tremolo, spared holocaust.
Devon Balwit teaches in Portland, OR. She has six chapbooks and two collections out or forthcoming: How the Blessed Travel (Maverick Duck Press); Forms Most Marvelous (dancing girl press); In Front of the Elements (Grey Borders Books), Where You Were Going Never Was (Grey Borders Books); The Bow Must Bear the Brunt (Red Flag Poetry); We are Procession, Seismograph (Nixes Mate Books), Risk Being/ Complicated (with the Canadian artist Lorette C. Luzajic), and Motes at Play in the Halls of Light (Kelsay Books). Her individual poems can be found here as well as in Cordite, The Cincinnati Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Fifth Wednesday, Red Earth Review, The Fourth River, The Free State Review, Rattle, The Inflectionist Review, Posit, and more.