Water Table

By Eliza Griswold b. 1973 Eliza Griswold
My earliest wish was not to exist,
to burst in the backyard
without violence,
no blood, no fleshy bits,
mute button pressed
alone behind the rectory
where no one would see me.

This wasn’t a plea to be found
or mourned for, but to be unborn
into the atmosphere. To hang
in the humid air, as ponds vent upward
from the overheated earth,
rise until they freeze
and crystallize, then drop
into the aquifer.

Source: Poetry (September 2013).


This poem originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

September 2013
 Eliza   Griswold


Eliza Griswold is a poet and reporter whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic, the New York Times Magazine, Harper's, and the New Republic. Her books include the poetry collection Wideawake Field (2007) and the non-fiction title The Tenth Parallel (2010), which examines Christianity and Islam in Asia and Africa. In 2010, Griswold won the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome for her poetry, and in 2011, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, The Body, The Mind, Time & Brevity

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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