August 16, 2017 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

pawel blazewicz photo



Devon Balwit






When the beekeeper comes for the swarm, I ask

how he gets them all. He can’t, he tells me. Some


are always off on sortie. When they return, the hive

will be gone. Unlike ants, no pheromone trail


can reunite them with their lost home. Today, I find

these remnants clustered about the fading scent


of their queen like a sailor who went to fetch water

and returned to a glimpse of masts disappearing beyond


the horizon. The castaway waves and shouts, but the ship

does not turn. He, at least, could tame a monkey


for companionship, talk or sing to himself. What

can these forlorn sisters do apart from cluster and cling,


mourning their lost usefulness, the golden weeks

when they served a sovereign at hive’s center.





Auction Night



The auction room with its busy socializing and spending

is not for me. I’d rather haunt the margins, entering data


or standing in the doorway, a liminal space between the

haves and have nots. Don’t get me wrong; I’m grateful


for those who can drop a couple of grand in an evening for

our children’s good while laughing at the same time. I


admire the unselfconscious, who can stand up and play

heads or tails like eager children, those who can speak


loudly enough to compete with the dueling sound systems

of the rapid-fire auctioneer and the wedding in the rented


space below. I do my best to blend in, having reached deep

into the closet for what can pass as formal wear, smiling


and greeting everyone, but as always, something about me

betrays me, and I become the nucleus of no conversation.


Clearly, I’ll never be other than a teenager, seeping self-

consciousness. Were there a heaven, I’d stand apart there,


too, trailing behind as god slung broad arms around my fellows,

still wondering what they joked about so easily. I print receipts


for the departing guests and close their accounts. I can already

taste the consolation of bourbon in the swaddling darkness.






Devon Balwit

Devon Balwit is a poet / educator from Portland Oregon. Her poems can be found in Poets Reading the News, The Ekphrastic Review, Panoplyzine, The Lake, What Rough Beast, Rat’s Ass Review, and more.

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