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Today's poem is by Eliza Griswold

Wisdom Teeth

We're too young for this discourse of ex's—
        ex-habits and yearnings for why
nothing fits as it did in our dreams,
        neither horrific nor wonderful.

How could we dream this life
        and yet we have; its marble stairs
with tongue-colored veins; its panes
        of lead glass and French doors

opening onto nowhere in particular
        and everywhere that matters.
Somewhere over the blue lawn
        (beneath which, a congress

of woodchucks maps out next season's
        excavations), something calls us
to the best of ourselves. Settle for less,
        and the terrace returns, stung

with the scent of night-blooming cereus
        or gas leaking from the main
under the lawn. The first dream I remember
        is everyone's: falling

into a gorge's glossy black water,
        thicker with life
than the air—never, of course,
        landing there, but falling

the way they say is simply falling asleep.
        The dreams we keep to ourselves
become who we are. Keep everything
        under your tongue and don't

come home. Go far and farther still.
        We'll meet in dreams as we do now.
I'll be waiting for you on the windowsill
        we already knew we knew.



Copyright © 2002 Eliza Griswold All rights reserved
from The Southwest Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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