Deep Security Breach Cripples N.S.A. By Devon Balwit

Deep Security Breach Cripples N.S.A.

Putting World in Danger, and this before
coffee, the nation

already teetering or having long wobbled,
me unaware,

the same way my telomeres have been unraveling
while I threw sticks

to the dog, or the way my husband got a parking ticket,
four quarters splayed

in his fist, having crossed the street to greet
a friend before dropping

them in the meter, the meter woman hiding
behind a tree to do

her dirty work, then slapping it on the windshield,
triumphantly refusing

to listen to reason. Or me learning that a new medication
costs $40 for six grams,

a month’s-worth, my soul only three times heavier,
and priceless.

Should I be grateful for the bargain or glad not
to have to purchase my spirit

like a fast-food worker her uniform, or a coal miner
goods paid for in scrip

at the company store, everything twice as dear
but no helping it?

I speak to my son’s college counselor and fight
tears already overwhelmed

by the threat of debt, the either/or of it—
my child’s future

or my own—of course, I’ll pay through the nose,
am already stockpiling

morphine from dead relatives to save
on end-of-life care.

Perhaps the Shadow Brokers can do double-duty,
hacking and shellacking,

whacking opa and oma to give families
some elbow room

while holding big-data hostage. I make myself
read the story

to the bitter end: It may be years until the full fallout
is understood

By Devon Balwit


Devon Balwit is a writer/teacher from Portland, OR. She has six chapbooks and two collections out/forthcoming in the world. Her poems have appeared here in The Rising Phoenix Review, as well as in The New Verse News, Poets Reading the News, Rattle, Redbird Weekly Reads, Rise-Up Review, Rat’s Ass Review, Mobius, What Rough Beast, and more.

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