You Are Like A Lit Match When You Laugh

You Are Like A Lit Match When You Laugh

By: Cultura Colectiva -

Robin Myers is a young poet and translator from New York, currently living in Mexico City. For her, writing a poem is like an itch that comes "sometimes like a line, sometimes an image, sometimes just a nebulous question or concern or juxtaposition". If we can learn something from Myers' work, it's the fact that poetry can help us understand life itself. In the poem "Else", she talks about our obsession with comprehending the world, love and ourselves trough a glass of metaphors.

You Are Like A Lit Match When You Laugh 1


What is it really about, this need to compare everything, to make things

like other things, to metaphor our way into a kind of calm that may not

be like a scaffold erected around the air, but truly that?

I sat in a church in Masaya, Nicaragua, in late afternoon,

chose the pew because of how the light was on the floor, filtered through

the stained glass window at the top and let down red.

I looked at that light, and thought, it’s a little like blood

seeping into something soft, then left in the sun; or, it’s more

like the water of a watermelon on white sheets. But, in the end,

it most honestly looked like red light on the floor of a church in Masaya, Nicaragua,

in late afternoon. Forgive me for pulling that light away from itself,

for announcing that the moon tonight is as thin as a penny in water,

for telling you that you are like a lit match when you laugh.

I would live from flash to singular blinding flash if I could,

if that didn’t mean some species of despair, some dissolution

of faith, if that’s a metaphor I may borrow; a tragic un-jigsaw-puzzling of ourselves

and the connectedness we invent and demand; completion,

of course, being a secondary, more sorrowful concern. For each breath

really is like every other breath, and if it isn’t, then I must believe

that what is carried over, shared, or at least remembered, is where it’s going,

why it happens, why I need it; is everything, everything else.


Published in Amalgama / Conflations (Ediciones Antílope, Mexico) and in Lo demás / Else (Kriller71 Ediciones, Spain; Zindo & Gafuri, Argentina).


Photos by Lukasz Wierzbowski