Come with me and tour the urban prairie—Detroit
apocalyptic—no garbage pickup, street lights out,
houses windowless, like refugees sagging shoulder
to shoulder behind wire. You can buy one if you wish,
if you have vision, a couple thousand and some elbow grease.
You can be a Motown pioneer—the next great Black or White
Hope. Do you remember, though, before Japan, before the crash,
Fords and Chryslers rolling off the line, the suburbs rippling
out on churning pistons? Or what about the Ren Cen, rising
like a stack of black Dixie cups near Greek Town to flaming
saganaki and cries of Opa! Back then, we didn’t have to sell
the art from our museum, carrying the sad frames past
the Rivera mural in the courtyard championing Industry
and The Working Man. Back then, our freeways pulsed,
our schools had children. Now we’re a cautionary tale.
People come to see what a metropolis will look like
after an event. Detroit’s was economic—what about
where you live? You know it’s coming. Wait for it.
Devon Balwit is the author of seven chapbooks and three longer collections of poetry. Her individual poems can be found in places such as: Peacock Review, Eclectica, The Ekphrastic Review, Punch-Drunk Press, Anti-Heroin Chic, Panoplyzine, Under a Warm Green Linden, taplit mag, Cordite, Rattle.