Here's Johnny, by Devon Balwit
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.
This poem is from the just released Risk Being/Complicated, a full-colour illustrated collection of poems by Devon Balwit inspired by the art of Ekphrastic Review editor Lorette C. Luzajic. Click book cover image below to view or purchase on Amazon.
Devon Balwit teaches in Portland, OR. She has six chapbooks and two collections out or forthcoming, among them: The Bow Must Bear the Brunt (Red Flag Poetry); We are Procession, Seismograph (Nixes Mate Books), and Motes at Play in the Halls of Light (Kelsay Books). Her individual poems can be found in The Cincinnati Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Fifth Wednesday, the Aeolian Harp Folio, Red Earth Review, The Fourth River, The Free State Review, Rattle, The Inflectionist Review, The Ekphrastic Review, and more.
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