Is it stupid to declare I’m hopelessly devoted
when my beliefs always come full

circle? One minute I defend you, the next
I’m riding in a Ferris Wheel gondola, correlating

my shifting perspective with the shift
in my apparent weight. When I feel buoyant,

you’re a chit, tile, chip, token, peg, meeple or
marker—a game piece I can push

around the board. I’m the centripetal force
that constrains you to the path of least

resistance, until I slow like the first
wheel dynamited into scrap.


Beth McDermott is the author Figure 1 (Pine Row Press, 2022), and How to Leave a Farmhouse, a chapbook published by Porkbelly Press. Her poetry appears in Pine RowTupelo QuarterlyMatter, and Jet Fuel Review. Reviews appear in American Book ReviewAfter the ArtKenyon Review Online, and The Bind. She’s an Assistant Professor of English at the University of St. Francis and recipient of a 2020-2021 Distinguished Teaching Award.

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