A Shaft of Light With Dust in It

by Robin Myers

for the Australian journalist who published an article about having a miscarriage during the fires
of January 2020

I am
a child
and think
the light
has made
the dust,
that dust
is bodiless 
without it.
it’s bodiless
all right,
but every-
where. and 
expands: a 
seething air,
the substrates 
churned, words 
hounded, smoked 
out of
their dwellings. 
we are,
it seems,
more mesh
than vessel,
a cloth
that breathes
the stuff
of worlds
unsafe for
us to
drink. I
always hoped
to trust
this porousness, 
wanted my
skin a
cipher for
the brume
of human
hurt and
wasted time, 
our designs 
on surfaces
of magnitudes 
we should 
respect. I
take my 
longing back. 
or wish
I could.
you are,
like me,
like all
of us,
I’d like
to think— 
before our 
own extra- 
polation into 
numbers, thaw 
and diesel, 
clocks and 
a window- 
the opposite 
of shadow,
a way
to make
some fellow 
matter visible. 
and I,
a child,
reach out
my hand
to touch 
who are
not what
you harbor 
but in
whose form
it shines.


Robin Myers lives in Mexico City and works as a translator. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the Yale Review, the North American Review, Alaska QuarterlyPoetry Northwest, and elsewhere. Her book-length collections have been translated into Spanish and published in Mexico, Argentina, and Spain. She writes a monthly column on translation for Palette Poetry