I Wanted To Make Myself Like The Ravine

By Hannah Gamble

I wanted to make myself like the ravine
so that all good things would flow into me.

Because the ravine is lowly, it receives an abundance.
This sounds wonderful to everyone
who suffers from lacking, but consider, too, that a ravine
keeps nothing out:

in flows a peach
with only one bite taken out of it,
but in flows, too,
the body of a stiff mouse
half cooked by the heat of the stove
it was toughening under.

I have an easygoing way about me.
I’ve been an inviting host —
meaning to, not meaning to.
Oops — he’s approaching with his tongue
already out and moving.

Analyze the risks of becoming a ravine.
Compare those with the risks of becoming a well
with a well-bolted lid.

Which I’d prefer depends largely on which kinds
of animals were inside me when the lid went on
and how likely they’d be to enjoy the water,
vs. drown, freeze, or starve.
The lesson: close yourself off at exactly the right time.

On the day that you wake up
under some yellow curtains
with a smile on your face, lock the door.
Live out your days untroubled like that.

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