Risk Assessment

by Devon Balwit




            Talkers: “You all right?”

            The starched, inaccessible breast.

                                                Sylvia Plath “Paralytic”


He tears up

the last page

of the exam,


and calls it


as if


I wouldn’t remember

the original,



by my own

hand, as if

his ready



didn’t underscore

each red tick.


Every day,

he presents himself,

a glowering


storm front.


he could be


another shooter,

I never

turn my back.



Devon Balwit

Devon Balwit teaches in Portland, OR. She has six chapbooks and three collections out or forthcoming, among them: We are Procession, Seismograph (Nixes Mate Books), Risk Being/Complicated (A collaboration with Canadian artist Lorette C. Luzajic); Where You Were Going Never Was (Grey Borders); and Motes at Play in the Halls of Light (Kelsay Books). Her individual poems can be found in The Cincinnati Review, apt, Posit, The Carolina Quarterly, The Aeolian Harp Folio, The Free State Review, Sugar House Review, Peacock Journal, Eclectica, SWWIM, and more.