Gnashing Teeth Publishing

| words that get in your teeth

Still/Without You by Katie Hébert

person in jeans and a multi-color shirt with their arms stretched out wide looking down on a wood bridge in a forest

*today’s Poem of the Day is in .jpg format to preserve formatting

*this is the unformatted text of the poem

After St. Vincent

New York isn’t New York without you, love
So far in a few blocks to be so low
And if I call you from First Avenue

I don’t know if you would answer.

I am watching the skyline fade into subway tunnels
Floating underground and
I miss you—more than I’d like to admit.
We travel to “deep queens”
We are throwing back Fireball shots in St. Mark’s Place
We are cuddling as you sing about
Moldy fruit, I mean
Brushing teeth, I mean
A girl named Jenny, I mean—no.
We are not doing any of these things,
not together at least.
Instead, I find myself curled alone on the couch while flies buzz around stale lemons,
My teeth hiding below plaque,
Wondering if I should change my name.
The city I call home has fingerprints of you stained on the glass.

You told me you hated New York.
Spent the summer living in Brooklyn,
Found a throne you are unworthy of claiming
Far too high for me to even reach.

New love wasn’t true love, back to you, love
So much for a home run with some blue bloods
If I last-strawed you on Eighth Avenue
You wouldn’t come running after me.
Because you didn’t the first time,
Or the second time,
And I’m still waiting to see if you’ll come back from the last time.
It has been 2 days
4 weeks
6 months
1 year and
nothing has changed.
I am here wishing you to come back
Wishing that karma will come back to you
Like I wish that you will always miss your train
I wish that your juul will always be empty
(because you shouldn’t be smoking tobacco anyway…
that should have been a red flag for me in the first place)
I wish that you miss me.

I have lost a hero
I have lost a friend
But for you, darling
I don’t want to waste my time again.

I do not know music.
But I have begun practicing my singing, hoping I can match your pitch.
I took an online music class to learn your love language
Follow in time, hoping you would take the lead.

But if we were an orchestra, we’d fall flat.
Synopation that will never match up to each other,
Harmonies that will always be off key
Making metaphors out of music terms, poems out of a person
I will never get to understand

I got a D in that class.
We would have failed together anyway
I mean
we already failed anyway
I mean
I already failed you…

I am creating a map to navigate around you
Figuring out how to find home in my own chest
There is so much that reminds me of you
But I am listening to music without worrying
about creating a harmony with someone from a different genre
Putting in headphones and listening to St. Vincent sing:
New York is still New York without you, love
So far in a few blocks to be solo
And I won’t call you from First Avenue
Cause I’m the only motherfucker in the city who can handle me
New York is still New York without you

Katie Hébert (she/they) is a poet from New York. She holds a B.A. in English and Women’s & Gender Studies from SUNY Oneonta and was a three-time College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI) participant. Their work has been published in Ink and Marrow LitTurnpike Magazine, and Ayaskala Literary Magazine, among others. When they aren’t writing, you can find Katie napping, finding the best bagels, or wandering around the tri-state area. You can also find her at

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