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  4. I Wanted to Make Myself like the Ravine by Hannah Gamble
I Wanted to Make Myself like the Ravine

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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.

Source: Poetry (December 2014)

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This poem originally appeared in the December 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

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I Wanted to Make Myself like the Ravine

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