She would look at me in such a way
that every day became a brand-new
mountain in need of God to pull me
to the top, each gesture reminding me
of the peeling paint, the unmown yard.
The only thing for it was the whiskey
hidden in the dash, the fishtailing around
the farthest curve that she could follow
with her eyes. Even out of sight, she bothered.
I could never rest easy on the barstool,
open an envelope without fearing the bounced
check. Days became the burn barrel, the shotgun
shatter of empties on the sagging fence.
When she finally left, I changed
the locks, left the lawn to sun-glare, ripped
each tired geranium from her bed.
Devon Balwit writes in Portland, OR. She is a poetry editor for Minute Magazine and has five chapbooks 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); and The Bow Must Bear the Brunt (Red Flag Poetry). Her individual poems can be found in The Cincinnati Review, Fifth Wednesday, The Stillwater Review, Red Earth Review, The Fourth River, Posit, Emrys Journal, taplit mag, The Ekphrastic Review, and more.
Art by Lorette C. Luzajic.