Featured Writer: Poet Devon Balwit’s “Foolish II”

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Devon Balwit

Foolish II

“Paradise Lost” by Emil Nolde

Some receive God’s word and shout it
from the rooftops; others of us shove it
in our purses like an unpaid bill, or more apt
still, hide it in a drawer like pornography,
the bald claims as embarrassing as genitals,
and our fascination even more so.
As one seated before a magician, we hunt
for tricks even as our jaw drops at the live
doves drawn from sleeves or being told all
we are. We’re too smart for this, too old,
our time of credulity passed. Accustomed
to the unlit hearth of skepticism, we layer
ourselves against the cold, and when Jesus,
that importunate knocker, won’t let us be,
we curse him. To be asked again to hope
and to explain that hope to others? Never!
We catch our foolish face in the mirror,
our dumb heart halfway out the door.

 

About the writer:
Devon Balwit‘s most recent collection is titled A Brief Way to Identify a Body (Ursus Americanus Press). Her individual poems can be found or are upcoming in Jet Fuel, The Cincinnati Review, Tampa Review, Rattle, Apt (long-form issue), Grist, and Oxidant Engine among others. Devon Balwit is the O:JA&L “Featured Writer” for June 2019.

Image: “Paradise Lost” by Emil Nolde (1867-1956). Oil on canvas. 106 x 157 cm. 1921. Public domain.