This week’s poem takes us back into a classic scene of teenage years: a game of spin-the-bottle. As the poem’s speaker takes her turn, she muses wryly on how different this kiss feels than those idealized in fairy tales, with the impossible, magical “spin” they so relentlessly put on kisses.

Lulu Rasor is a 2019 graduate of Yarmouth High School and in her first year at Oberlin College. This year, she published her debut book of poetry, “An Open Letter to Ophelia,” through the Telling Room’s Young Emerging Authors fellowship. She will be reading from her book at Speedwell Projects in Portland on Thursday.

Poets, please note that submissions to Deep Water are now open. See below for a link to submit.


By Lulu Rasor

 And here, the relentless gravity between

his lips and mine. Bright eyes urging us

on across the bare wood floor,

still-revolving soda can bathing our

anticipating faces in dazzles of evening

light. I long for the ribbon of near future

to unfurl: the driveway crunch of returning

tires, our guilty scramble apart. But silence

smothers demolished cake-corpse, torn paper

blizzard, our cult-stealthy crossed legs.

I remember the stories spun around my childhood,

glass caskets cradled in forest depths

and castles wreathed in thorns,

but there’s nothing curse-breaking

or even sweet in this touch

about as ecstatic as a handshake.

Megan Grumbling is a poet who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. “Spin” copyright © 2019 by Lulu Rasor. Reprinted from “An Open Letter to Ophelia” (The Telling Room, 2019) by permission of Lulu Rasor. Submissions to the Deep Water column are open through the end of October. For more information, go to