by Devon Balwit

If I stood behind all prayer, I would know
how to muscle wings

to thermals’ hover, how to unfurl
stem to fruit, know

the finger pad corrugation
of hidden pit. I would send

the song welling in the bird, but keep
the seam of gold silent

in its earthen bed. I would sew an answer
into each question

like a medicine bag potent against despair.
From the far banks of death,

I would wave a lantern, laddering
dark waters. I would be the intention

before breath, and before that,
the bright flame universal.


DEVON BALWIT is a writer and teacher from Portland, OR, USA. She has two chapbooks forthcoming in 2017—how the blessed travel from Maverick Duck Press and Forms Most Marvelous from dancing girl press. Her recent work has found many homes, among them: Sweet, Shantih, Fourth & Sycamore, Five 2 One, Peacock Journal, The Cincinnati Review, Red Paint Hill, Timberline Review, and more.


Photo: “Wings” by Andrea Kirby