Devon Balwit

הוֹשִׁיעֵנִי אֱלֹהִים–    כִּי בָאוּ מַיִם עַד-נָפֶשׁ

(Psalm 69:1 Save me, God, For the waters have come up to my neck!)

I awoke in the night to the murmur of rain
and my dog puking seawater.

My daughter had flicked on the hall light
and stood helpless in its glare.

I rose and pulled on the garments of a mother,
one unafraid of the body.

The dog apologized with fawn-soft eyes, my husband snored.
I told my daughter, this is how it’s done.

Neither be afraid to grapple with filth nor expect to make
the dirty clean.  We live amidst swirling waters,

put our mouths to their source, and find pleasure there.
Enjoy the tumult before the clog, the tumble in brine.

Even up to our necks, the drenched world drunkens.
Let the waters pool on your tongue, run down your chin.


Devon Balwit is a writer and teacher from Portland, OR. She has two chapbooks forthcoming–‘how the blessed travel’ from Maverick Duck Press in February 2017 and ‘Forms Most Marvelous’ from dancing girl press in the Summer of 2017. Her recent work has found many homes, among them: Oyez, The Cincinnati Review, Red Paint Hill, Timberline Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Trailhead Review, and Oracle.

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