This week’s poem, Lucy Eills’ “Last night I dreamt,” explores the subtle horrors of the subconscious. I love the chant-like repetition of this poem, the terrifying strangeness of its dream imagery, and its sense of wonder at how, sometimes, it’s the most banal fears that haunt us most.

Eills graduated from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins. Today, she focuses professionally on educational innovation at colleges and universities. In her personal time, she surfs, writes and creates with a community of supportive, compassionate and inspiring women. She lives in Portland.

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, LGBTQ writers and other underrepresented voices. You’ll find a link to submit in the credits below.

Last night I dreamt
By Lucy Eills

Last night I dreamt the two teeth
which surround my right incisor
were replaced by shifting pegs.
Last night I dreamt we visited
your best friend in southern France
and I shaved their dog’s long hair
using my teeth, like corn on the cob.
Last night I dreamt my office
in a mall, the lingerie counter line
filled with girls who didn’t talk
to me in high school.

Last night I dreamt again of that one night.
But waking this morning, what disturbs
me at nine, ten, noon, is not the mascara
dark room nor newly alien hands. Not loss
of hometown in this body, this skin.
It is the python hissing of the pegs,
is it the hair between my teeth, it is
the girls who glance and glance away.

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. “Last night I dreamt,” copyright 2021 by Lucy Eills, 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

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