genre 2
Poetry by Amanda Balter


in the morning when a heart thud wakes me up
the memories say good morning, beautiful
your face might as well be red blood cells
running the entire hellish system
but the mind is exempt
the mind is not affected by the time
of day the routine of sunlight
the mind is a rabid animal
only the immunized can fight
i’ve trained this animal
with daily shots
not to pay
attention to
the rise &
fall of


“The real world doesn’t care
about our spiritual conditions,

just asks that we be well enough
to smile at its clamor,” the poet said.

Diamonds are gemstones
but do they always shine?
to my thoughts. The sun

yawns only when
the moon sleeps.

Can you give a better explanation?

The cactus thorns thrive
in the lion’s mouth. I’m hungry

for orchids. Water with rosewater
three times a day.

Too much, too many, no.
These weeds flourish

between neurons—
no, they grow at night

with the moon
before the sun wakes.

Quoted material from 'No Is a Complete Sentence' by Kaveh Akbar, from his book Calling a Wolf a Wolf

Amanda Balter is a recent graduate of Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana, where she majored in philosophy and religious studies. Outside of her schooling, she is an active member of her church and volunteers regularly. She enjoys reading and writing poetry as well as painting with her younger brother, searching for the best hot chocolate, and cross country skiing in Montana's backyard. In the future, she hopes to pursue graduate study in the liberal arts.
Arrow icon
Arrow icon