James McKee


“If I Died”

“If I died,” you asked one night,
“What would you do then?”
I said, “I’d be miserable. Wretched,”
Trying to read again.

After a pause, you added softly,
“Just don’t start drinking,”
And I nodded at the very thought
I too was thinking.

Not to worry, love. Without you,
Fear that whiskey might smudge
Your least memory will surely keep me
Sober as a judge.

A New Yorker by birth (and likely by death), James McKee enjoys failing in his dogged attempts to keep pace with the unrelenting cultural onslaught of late-imperial Gotham. After taking a degree in English & Philosophy, he held a number of ludicrously unsuitable jobs before spending over a decade as a teacher and administrator at a small special-needs high school. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Acumen, The Raintown Review, Saranac Review, The South Carolina Review, THINK, The Worcester Review, The Rotary Dial, and elsewhere. He currently works as a private tutor and spends his free time, when not writing or reading, traveling less than he would like and brooding more than he can help.