My Day-long Obsession, Joy, and Torment (Color Is)

Devon Balwit

Some days the canary dies as soon as the cage door
opens. I sound the alarm and listen to the metal-
on-metal grind that hoists me back from the brink.

I have all the right tools, but the gold hides in secret
seams. The walls ridge glyphs, but no Champollion
comes to decipher. Other days, my eyes strobe

with a Las Vegas spangling of why the hell not? Later,
might come lacunae, but in the moment, rationalizations
clatter like a payout from the slots. I gather them up

and work the floor. With any luck, I’ll tap at the cashier’s
window. Outside, traffic performs its routine—
lines of sleek gymnasts trailing ribbon-bright lights.


about the writer


Devon Balwit writes in Portland, OR. She 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); andThe Bow Must Bear the Brunt (Red Flag Poetry). Her individual poems can be found in The Cincinnati Review, The Stillwater ReviewRed Earth Review, The Fourth River, The Ekphrastic Review, The Inflectionist, Emrys Journal, Muse A/Journal, and more. You can find her on FB.