Journalism In Verse


Even Their Eyes Were Erased

in World by

“To the virtuous women… stay in your homes
and leave them only in cases of necessity.”
(from the Bill of the City, posted in Mosul)

Is the necessity to inhale
without the suck of fabric
blocking breath, or to lift
a bit of anything, even your
bloody knuckle, to your
lips, or to cook over an open
flame without yourself
becoming tinder, or to
write your name in a pen
held by your own fingers,
or to see, with your own eyes,
the color of cloth that will
touch your skin?  You stay
in your home and stay in
your home with the choice
to become ever more wooden,
like a joist, or like a hornet,
to await the kick that will
finally release you from
your secret cells, all of you,
daughters, sisters, mothers,
gusting in black-clad clouds
ready to sting and sting.

Read More:
For Women Under ISIS, a Tyranny of Dress Code and Punishment [New York Times]

Devon Balwit is a poet and educator from Portland, Oregon. Her work has appeared in Oyez, The Cincinnati Review, Red Paint Hill, The Ekphrastic Review, Trailhead Magazine VCFA, The Prick of the Spindle, and Permafrost.

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