Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions. Use "Verse News Submission" as the subject line. Send a brief bio. No payment. Authors retain all rights after 1st-time appearance here. Scroll down the right sidebar for the fine print.

Monday, July 13, 2020


by Devon Balwit

A brokenness in need of fixing, we carom, 
blowing out sail after sail. At the helm 
gapes a hole the shape of a captain 
in love with his flail. We keep eyes 
to our holystones, thinner with each 
fretful pass, and scrub fore and aft. 
In sight of shore, we hoist a false flag, 
gilded with import. All know our master’s 
true master, his fathomless coffers 
deep in the hold. Our sad tongues 
misremember the taste of fresh water, 
the tartness of greens as we bleed 
from both ends. Weeping awakens the sleepers 
in the fo'c'sle. We ourselves 
may be its source. Without a hand 
to our throat, there’s no knowing.

Devon Balwit's most recent collection is titled A Brief Way to Identify a Body (Ursus Americanus Press). Her individual poems can be found in here as well as in Jet Fuel, The Worcester Review, The Cincinnati Review, Tampa Review, Apt (long-form issue), Tule Review, Grist, and Rattle among others.