Somewhere in a Bright Blue Bay

Devon Balwit


a billionaire has crashed, an Icarus moment
while Holsteins chew their hemp, a bold experiment

in the cattle yard to see if the milk they give
will intoxicate. The steers lick wet lips, restive,

but not distressed as they move inexorably to the chute.
Is this not a more compassionate way to treat the brutes?

Those with clipboards measure, nod, and approve.
Not everyone can live freely and do what they love.

Most are born to be quartered, not to cut.
It behooves the former to go peaceably. No tut-

tutting about consent—even Jesus said, “The poor
you will always have with you.” There in the abattoir,

the beasts stare dreamily at the man with the gun.
Somewhere, there is richer pasture, perhaps in heaven.


Devon Balwit’s work appears in The Worcester Review, The Cincinnati Review, Tampa Review, Barrow Street, Rattle, Sierra Nevada Review and Grist among others. Her most recent collections are Rubbing Shoulders with the Greats [Seven Kitchens Press, 2020], Dog-Walking in the Shadow of Pyongyang [Nixes Mate Books, 2021] and Spirit Spout [forthcoming with Nixes Mate Books in 2023]. For more, visit



Back to Table of Contents