“[One, at the border]” and other poems – Robin Myers

[At dusk]

At dusk,
I fling cuts
of raw meat just
past its sell-by
date into the yard
for the cats
and the weasels,
who know me.

They take turns
eating. Always
the cats first,
weasel eyes
glittering in the bushes.

Who can say
if what they have together
is a truce renewed
each time,
an established chain
of command,
an oppression,
or what we call
peace,

these animals who hunger
and never speak.

§

[What has become of what we thought]

What has become of what we thought
we wanted?

There is no accounting for the wreckage.
There it is, uncountable, uncounted.
What is it that we thought we wanted?

The family of cats still makes their nest
in the scattered cinderblocks out back,
but this is a small comfort,
all things considered.

I know nothing about you.
I knew nothing about you
or what you wanted.

Newborn ruins,

nineteen times the same village razed
and raised up again.

§

[One, at the border]

One, at the border,
wherever it was then,
appeared before
his commanding officers,
stripped, stood
pale and trembling,
said he wouldn’t
go back.

As far as I can tell,
he deserted only
his uniform, and there
are other shirts in this place.

I never had a son,
never had to say
You must go to school,
you must stay there.

But I was one.

A frayed rope,
splayed out from itself
like a chrysanthemum.

§

 

[So many objects]

So many objects
doing their damndest
to disobey gravity, or evade it,
or harness it for their own

purposes:
rocks, tanks,
bottles, bullets,
tires set afire.

I’ve seen countless shapes turn and turn
and be transformed in pursuit
of the harm
we intend for them.

It still surprises me
that rubber burns.

§

Robin Myers is a Mexico City-based poet and translator, born in New York City in 1987. Her poems have been published in the Kenyon Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Dogwood: A Journal of Poetry and Prose, and ELKE: A Little Journal; other work is forthcoming in The Offing, Berlin Quarterly, and New Millennium Writings. This fall, two collections of her poems will be published as bilingual English/Spanish editions in Mexico (Conflations/Amalgama) and in Spain and Argentina (Else/Lo demás).