The Babies


                   (after Cunni’s The Forgotten Children)





The babies lift               from the Good Book

like bodies from mud,


chick-mouths                yawning

or crying, clamoring


for the breast                or lamenting

as a choir. The babies


are red-spattered         with afterbirth

or wounds from ritual


or crisis.                          Bullets

accompany them, ready.


Bless us                           in body

         and in soul; make us


a blessing                        to our comrades,

asks the red-spattered page,


opened for prayer        or last rites,

next to the babies.





The forgotten children

are being         baptized


in a lake of suffering.

Lifted out,        they look


sleepy, kittens held

by the nape,    the mother cat’s


mouth gone

soft                   before hissing.





We wait here, we babies,

yolk in albumen,


souls milky and shy.



will you pick us up,

one by one,


and smack us

into breath.

little joe gould #1


n.b. ye twang of little joe(yankee)gould irketh sundry

who are trying to find their minds(but never had any to lose)

                                                        e.e. cummings



little joe gould lies on his back in the graveyard atop

all his ancestors also lying on their backs, translating


the poems of his childhood into the language of sea gulls,

hands wheeling overhead like wings. his hands lift him.


his ideas lift him. he paces the streets all night long, talking

to himself or cawing or croaking, or if he gets too tired,


riding the subway one end to the other, his brain racing,

end to end, end to end, him trying to keep it in its tracks,


writing on his lap in letters too shaky to read, the history

of everything he’s ever seen or heard. we slip him


a buck here and there, buy him breakfast or a beer,

swap out one ill-fitting suit for another, letting him


be crazy for us (for it is hard work being crazy).

after, we write about him writing about us, each trying


to make sense of the other before we’re also on our backs

under the one on his back under the open sky.

Devon Balwit lives in the Pacific Northwest. She is the author of six chapbooks and two collections. Her individual poems can be found in many journals such as: Glass: A Poetry Journal; The Inflectionist; Muse A/Journal; taplit mag; Posit; Cordite; Under a Warm Green Linden, and more.