“Here’s Johnny” by Devon Balwit

Here’s Johnny

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 ReviewFifth WednesdayThe Stillwater ReviewRed Earth ReviewThe Fourth RiverPositEmrys Journaltaplit magThe Ekphrastic Review, and more.

Art by Lorette C. Luzajic.



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