This week’s poem is a memory poem: Jefferson Navicky’s “Teeth” mingles nostalgia and the visceral, magical strangeness of childhood. I love how vividly this poem blurs the boundaries of our senses, and how its remembered scene feels both otherworldly and profoundly, tangibly real.

Navicky is the author of “Antique Densities: Modern Parables & Other Experiments in Short Prose,” as well as the story collection “The Paper Coast” and the poetic novel “The Book of Transparencies.” He is the archivist for the Maine Women Writers Collection. He lives in Freeport with his wife, dog, cats and chickens.

Poets, please note that submissions to Deep Water are open through the end of the year. Deep Water is especially eager to share poems by Black writers, writers of color, Indigenous writers, and other underrepresented voices. You’ll find a link to submit in the credits below. 



By Jefferson Navicky

My grandfather, the one I think of as the color yellow, took me for a ride in his Lincoln after dinner when I was five. We drove down to the lake and he told me the lump of land on the other side of the water was Canada. That’s another country, he said. I nodded as if I understood. I wanted to eat that country, all of it. The sun began to set, turning the lake crimson and burnt orange. We drank the colors from the shallow bowls of our hands. I tasted everything that was North.


Megan Grumbling is a poet and writer who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. “Teeth,” copyright © 2021 by Jefferson Navicky, is reprinted from Antique Densities (Deerbrook Editions) and originally appeared in Tarpaulin Sky Journal. It appears by permission of the author. Submissions to Deep Water are open now and through the end of the year. For more information, go to

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: