“What Is Marriage Like?” by Devon Balwit

Devon Balwit


What is marriage like?
my children ask, and I think
of the anglerfish, deep
in inky ocean, the female
groping her way with a torch
grown from her own body,
an iridescent lure for prey,
the male searching, searching, searching
perhaps his whole life long
without finding her, but if he does,
biting deep into her back or belly
and fusing until his organs
fade away, until he becomes little
more than a bulbous pair of testes
fringed with gills, protruding sack-like
as she plies her lantern.
[Therefore, shall he cleave
unto his partner, and the two
shall be one flesh] no immune response
one to the other, all that she has his
and vice versa until death.
Such teeth, my children,
you have never seen
              such teeth.

from Poets Respond
August 9, 2020


Devon Balwit: “Ask me the same question on a different day, and I’d give a different answer.” (web)


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