We meet in a stairway of moments,
fighting against forces or giving in.
On the landings, we are free
to do as we like, resting
or hitching up a stocking. Though we say
we’re weary of geometry,
none of us climb to the upper stories
clinging to brick;
Stooping between inhales, we peer
between riser and tread,
fishing out lost things: someone’s button
an earring, a quarter for bus fare.
We arrange them and have a poem,
a narrative arc, rising and falling.
(after Doisneau’s La diagonale des marches Paris, 1953)
Devon Balwit teaches in Portland, OR. She is a poetry editor for Minute Magazine and has seven chapbooks and one full-length collection out or forthcoming. Her individual poems can be found in Cordite, taplit mag, Menacing Hedge, The Cincinnati Review, The Carolina Quarterly, The Stillwater Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Rattle, and more.