I am myself. That is not enough.
Clogged, columnar we chuff
work-ward, penned by chain link
that curls where squatters
have swung a leg over. Smoke
rises from each house, postcard
faux, as it sits in the crosshairs
of a distant missile. A father bends
to whisper in his child’s ear.
I hunger for the pat of his hand.
I die with variety.
Where will I be when it comes?
If home alone, I’ll hide my face
in my dog’s flank. If together,
the family will huddle. I’ll take
a last look at the living, then won’t be.
If at work—how sad—the mall
unworthy. There, I’ll hurry to the roof
and die circled by tree crowns.
I hope the flare too decisive for elegy.
(Quotes in italic from Sylvia Plath’s ‘The Jailer’)
Devon Balwit lies awake most night fretting. Writing poetry comes as a relief.