In Their Own Words

Gina Myers on “New Year’s Day (2018)”

New Year's Day (2018)

champagne bottle     shattered
           on 4th Ave.                 paper silver
crown
                  flattened
9 degrees & it’s good             to see you
                      we warm up
over ramen               2 cups
of tea & memories                 of faraway beaches
            riding the train               into Manhattan
I seek a shape                        to place
                       my desire into
it’s my heart                           that leaves
            first               do you remember
what it was like
                       to live here?              capital
gleams                      off the buildings
Philadelphia far                                away
            what is     the opposite of
a resolution
                          a dissolution
                                                         a disillusion




From Some of the Times (Barrelhouse Books, 2020). Copyright © 2020 by Gina Myers

On New Year's Day (2018)

Sometimes the poem comes quickly, like a flash. The imprint of a day—caught in the images one remembers, the litter on a Brooklyn sidewalk. The detritus one accumulates in a lifetime. The first day of the year is supposed to be about resetting and looking ahead. Instead, I found myself in a place I had once lived, visiting with old friends, feeling dislocated from both my present and former lives. There was something unreal and dreamlike about the day. Do I remember what it was like to live here? It doesn’t seem possible that I ever lived there. That life, so incredibly different than the one I had now in Philadelphia. The acute loneliness of riding the train over the Manhattan Bridge, looking out at the city. A strange longing for some unidentifiable thing that I could never reach. And just like that—the poem is gone. Falling apart on the page. Like a memory that comes into focus and then fades away. A snapshot.

More In Their Own Words