The same high, pointed fences guarding nothing
I want. The same flat spill that says I will

lie down at the slightest flinch. This is new, this
reaching to admit a subway run through me.

If the lake will have me. If the lake will let me
say, this was home. Wadded, tooth-marked, dried,

the tilled word insists on its tiny flavor.
My kind of town, it says, My kind of city,

hacking up a lung. My El, my pallor, my gas-
fed water, tell me how to touch your walks.

Remember how to swim? it says, Do you still
know how to save someone and not drown?

 

Gibson Fay-LeBlanc’s poems and reviews have appeared in The New Republic, Prairie Schooner, and Publishers Weekly and are forthcoming in Boston Review, Pleiades, and Backwards City Review. He was awarded the Bellevue Literary Review‘s Magliocco Prize for Poetry.

At Guernica, we’ve spent the last 13 years producing uncompromising journalism. 

More than 80% of our finances come from readers like you. And we’re constantly working to produce a magazine that deserves you—a magazine that is a platform for ideas fostering justice, equality, and civic action.

If you value Guernica’s role in this era of obfuscation, please donate.

Help us stay in the fight by giving here.