Two Poems by Victoria Lynne McCoy

The Other Driver


I’ve hidden every newspaper that might tell me who he was—


whiskeyed ache of a man: all gape

and stagger and gravel

throat. Let me know him

by anything but name.


His more and more, what hallelujahs

spill from his slick pores.

What neglectful god


let him swallow the ghosts

at the bottom this once?


Let him shatter


the abacus of endless days, drink his veins

bearable and forgot to dampen

that brass clash of keys singing him home?


His take and take. He takes

the road he swears he knows by heart.


Did he believe himself to be

flying along his boundless highway,

the ghosts he hadn’t made yet





leave him weightless

on my tongue and let me forgive

only what I have a name for. 




I’m afraid the poem will never leave me completely.

That this grief must need me, the way the bruise needs

the soft of a body. Why else do I survive

what she couldn’t? Why else am I left behind

to climb out the driver’s side if not to carry in me

the siren’s lonely tremolo, metal taste

of what’s unsalvageable. I want to stop

writing her out of existence,

to erase the passing soldiers holding her

on the shoulder of Interstate 15.

Traffic lanes on every page now,

every word a vehicle I don’t make it out of

until the end cracks open like a windshield

and I crawl out its sudden mouth.



VICTORIA LYNNE MCCOY earned her MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. Her work has also appeared inBest New Poets, The Paris-American, Drunken Boat,  andBoxcar Poetry Review,  among others. Victoria has served as poetry editor of the Four Way Review and as the Work fellow for the Frost Place Conference on Poetry, and lives again in her native Southern California.