Susana H. Case

Glassware breaks as everyone hugs
everyone, the crowd half-drunk,
whole-drunk—even the nuns drinking pints—
when word gets around
there’s a girl here from New York,

and you’re pulled up from your seat,
handed an empty bottle for a mic,
people cajoling you to sing a New York song,
which you’re ordinarily too tone-deaf to do,
but you’re full of beer, so, you belt out,

“Will you still love me tomorrow,”
because you know the lyrics to the old tunes,
like the others who join in. A guy follows
with, “I left my heart in San Francisco,”
that city, to those in the countryside of Ireland,

more or less the same as New York.
People squeeze past, happy to meet
the girl from New York,
take photos with their new friend
from New York,

check if you know their cousins
in New York,
until 11:30, when the pub closes
and those who remain stand to sing
the National Anthem before they stumble

out onto the wet street, where a dazed man
with a cut on his forehead,
too late for his Guinness, comes to share
with his friends the news—car bombs
in Dublin, hundreds injured, dozens dead.

About the Author

Susana H. Case is the author of seven books of poetry. Dead Shark on the N Train is due out in 2020 from Broadstone Books. Drugstore Blue (Five Oaks Press) won an IPPY Award in 2019. She is also the author of five chapbooks, two of which won poetry prizes, and most recently, Body Falling, Sunday Morning, from Milk and Cake Press. Her first collection, The Scottish Café, from Slapering Hol Press, was re-released in a dual-language English-Polish version, Kawiarnia Szkocka by Opole University Press. Her work has appeared in Calyx, The Cortland Review, Portland Review, Potomac Review, Rattle, RHINO and many other journals. Case is a Professor and Program Coordinator at the New York Institute of Technology in New York City.