Lynn McGee


You’re my other lost sister.
You’re the reason I look at my fist,
and see a heart.
You’re a voice message I transfer
to a new phone, each
new phone I get, and you’re why I watch
a building being razed in the view
from my office window; ceiling
by ceiling, floor
by floor.

A man in a white mask hoses down
debris. Another man wields
a sledgehammer, shatters brick walls
that held families in walk-up
apartments, bathtub magnificent
as a walrus in the kitchen,
soup steaming on the stove.

After a couple weeks, the building
is rubble scooped up by a bulldozer
and delivered to dumpsters waiting
at the curb. An exposed wall, bricks
that haven’t seen light in a hundred years,
is red as scraped skin. The syllables
of your name nest in my throat.
The city crumbles and rises
around me.

Lynn McGee is the author of the poetry collection Tracks (Broadstone Books, 2019);  Sober Cooking (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2016), and two award-winning poetry chapbooks: Heirloom Bulldog (Bright Hill Press, 2015) and Bonanza (Slapering Hol Press, 1997). Five of her poems are forthcoming in the anthology Stonewall's Legacy, celebrating the 50-year anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, and other work is forthcoming in Across the Waves: Contemporary Poetry from Ireland and the United States (Salmon Books), Upstreet Literary Journal and others.