Detroit Apocalyptic By Devon Balwit

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. 


One Reply to “Detroit Apocalyptic By Devon Balwit”

  1. I love this poem that evokes the plight of an American icon. I especially love the lines “like refugees sagging shoulder / to shoulder behind wire.” The ominous “event.” Devon Balwit is one of my favorite poets.

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