Gina Myers

Mid-May, 90 degrees. Severe

thunderstorm watch.

Outside of the subway station,

teenagers hand out flyers

for a politician. This week

already long, only Tuesday.

Yesterday’s medical tests

left me nauseated & sick

in bed. I missed

the poetry reading.

I missed the concert, I missed

yoga. A hidden cost

of illness: the things I spend

money on but don’t go to.

Emma sends me an article

about the discovery of rocks

formed from plastic.

I send Emma an article

about trees having a heartbeat.

No one I know knows

how to function right now.

Every day at least one

new horror in the news.

Emma asks, “What keeps you

going?” Yesterday

Palestinian protesters

were slaughtered in Gaza.

Today: business as usual.

I have a meeting. I meet Erin

for lunch. I read my emails.

I work on the report.

I tell Emma: poetry,

music & friends. The sky,

a minute ago, sunny. Suddenly

dark as the storm comes.

The truth is, Emma, I don’t know

what keeps me going

right now. The wind picks up,

howls down the alley

behind my apartment.

I hear my neighbor’s footsteps

above me. I wonder if he heard me

cry last night when I was

feeling alone with my illness.

My friends tell me I’m not

alone, but I still feel this way.

I was surprised

by the sudden tears

at the bar on Sunday. We

were talking about rents in Philly

& I didn’t even know

I had begun to cry until my voice

cracked. The radio

loses its signal to the storm.

When friends say they’re sorry

for what I’m going through,

I always say, “It’s okay. It will be fine.”

I say things I don’t believe

but believe I’m supposed to say.

The teenagers now running

down the street, seeking shelter.

Thunder & the downpour begins.

I was taught to never ask

for help. My dad mistaking this

for strength. It’s okay.

It will be fine. The radio

has found its signal again. Dear Emma,

it’s okay. It will be fine.

The radio: static. Now: silence.


Found In Volume 48, No. 01
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  • Gina Myers
Gina Myers
About the Author

Gina Myers is the author of two full-length poetry collections, A Model Year (2009) and Hold It Down (2013), as well as several chapbooks, including most recently Philadelphia (Barrelhouse, 2017). She co-edits the tiny ​with Gabriella Torres, and runs the Accidental Player reading series in Philadelphia.