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 "Underground", she explores something as simple as daily life through a more complex and dark notion.
Don’t worry don’t worry don’t worry
don’t worry, he urges, the only words
that glitter as they clatter to the ground
and he stalks back and forth in the cage
of the subway car, lean, shirtless,
proclaiming other indecipherable things
with an auctioneer’s impatience, erratic
yet resolute, his torso inked with knives
and crosses faded into blemish,
pacing to a timer either invisible
or shattered. Ladies and gentlemen
please don’t worry don’t worry don’t worry,
he hisses. I worry about the sound that splinters
from the bag he drops at his feet
and tense against the man beside me, a friend
to whom I’ve been trying to say everything.
The orator kneels to meet the floor.
He parts the cloth with both hands,
crouches before the shards of glass,
and stares them in the eyes
as if they were a weepy child in need
of an embrace, or a stern talking-to —
Ladies and gentlemen ladies and gentlemen
don’t worry— and chooses one,
and draws it through the skin of his arm,
gazing firmly downward, unswerving,
still talking. Don’t worry. Don’t worry,
surgeon, readying your steady hands.
Don’t worry, miner, crawling into the earth.
Don’t worry, subway operator, steward
of a mined world, jobless cartographer
going forward, forward, forward.
Every father is a ghost. All touch obstructs us.
I turn away. My friend touches my knee
and doesn’t look at me. Two days before,
we labored up to the clearing on a mountaintop,
where we held each other, sweaty and exultant,
the wind splitting open all the sounds around us
and flinging the pieces skyward.
And then we went down again, not touching.
Thank you, says the man who has engraved himself
on the way to the bus station. Thank you,
thank you, he says, as a slender line of blood
threads itself among his footsteps.
The doors close behind him.
Truly, we did not touch each other
all the way down.
Published in the online journal Transtierros (2016), in Amalgama / Conflations (Ediciones Antílope, Mexico), and in Lo demás / Else (Kriller71 Ediciones, Spain; Zindo & Gafuri, Argentina).
Photos by Bryan Adam Castillo.