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The Vanderbilt Review

The Vanderbilt Review

wills & wills &

Winner of the 2023-24 Poetry Award
Image generated using TVR does not benefit financially from its publications.
Image generated using TVR does not benefit financially from its publications.

The house in my dreams looks like

a single-story in Jonesboro

where I can still map the floor plan,

see in perfect color, shrink under high ceilings.

I would hate it when we’d leave.

There is no stain of sadness there, or

if there is, it is just one scent in the 

jumbled potpourri my not-ripe brain

was too green to call sharp.


When I sleep at night, my lungs will breathe like

it is not burdensome, with the sheer pleasure

of keeping me warm. I am no longer

hollow, now made up of contentment and

my mother’s cooking. She does something wonderful

with Ragu and garlic that I will adopt

as my own. She still loves me,

and touches my shoulder when she says so,

so I hate it when I leave.


I think my love will take shape like

the looming of some heavy blanket,

it would be gradual, painstaking, and

so very soft. I will grow

to care for someone who does & does not

make me crazy, who will & will not

let me alone. I will hate it when they leave.

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About the Contributor
Morgan Johnson, Contributor
Morgan Johnson (she/any) is a senior born and raised in Marietta, Georgia. She studies political science and hopes to pursue a law school education upon graduation. In her last year as an undergraduate student, she has developed an obsession with crosswords and medieval swords.

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