it’s checkout time at the Epic Dermis motel,
people are bored with their skins, would
rather buy them on Call of Duty, upgrade
and discard. the fact that, as you say, crime
has declined, would-be delinquents indoors,
bathed in blue light, saddens. not that I
would rather have them bashing windows
or each other, but at least directing passion
at flesh and blood, not screens. yes, you
can make a poor man’s Oculus Rift from
cardboard, download an app to turn 360
in a crowd or on an alien planet, but you
are alone there. for now, you say. we can’t
even imagine – only the early adaptors can,
the alchemists, spinning code into gold.
no doubt. but I think of my son upstairs
in his cave, of other sons, bat-like, clicking,
clicking, pulses reverberating in darkness,
and when the long ships push off
into star-studded waters, I will remain
in my stony fields, waving as they depart.
Devon Balwit is a poet and educator from Portland, Oregon. She has a chapbook Forms Most Marvelous forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press (summer 2017). Her recent poems can be found in: Oyez, The Cincinnati Review, Red Paint Hill, The Ekphrastic Review, Noble Gas Quarterly, Timberline Review, Trailhead Magazine, Vector, and Permafrost.