“I think it is all light at the end; I think it is air.”
I think it is all light at the end. But not, in the end,
because it is beautiful or temporary, or even solemn in these ways. Once,
I was in love with a man and we hiked through the woods in a rainstorm.
This had not been the plan. But he loved it; he was from the mountains
and accustomed to loving things the world decided he could handle on short notice.
The rain battered the trees. It made a river of the path, unearthed the earth,
and I doubted I would ever be dry again. Yet as we reached a ridge
and looked out over the valley, the sun rushed through the clouds
that held it back, and the storm became a storm of light.
The entire valley went a rich orange, the brilliant trees doubly lit—
at first by autumn, now by sun. The man
surveyed, amazed, the bright wet earth before us.
I think it is all light at the end, but not because it changes what it touches.
I think he believed that our very presence there
made us part of what we saw—he touched my face,
where there was still rain, and perhaps light—that we were even,
somehow, responsible, at least in the sense that we always are, a little,
for what we have decided we are witness to. I think it is all light
at the end, but not because it blesses or erases us: I felt,
coming down the mountain, a sort of uneasy tenderness for this body
beside me, this man whose hand had touched my skin as if it really
were about his hand, and about my skin; whose love of the world
will always be fiercest as he looks down into it and watches the sun
spotlight everything he knows to be true. We passed a stream with shoots
of light in it like fish. We watched the light sift through the air. And so
we saw the air. I think it is all light at the end, but only
because it has nothing to do with us, can do nothing for us,
can only light us up the way it lights up a stand of trees,
an empty highway, a bed at sunup, rumpled on a lover’s way out.
I think it is all light, because we go bright, then dark,
then bright again, whether we mark its happening
or don’t. Because we don’t. Cannot.
Robin Myers (New York, 1987) is a freelance translator based in Mexico City. She received an honorable mention in the Atlantic Monthly 2008 Poetry Contest; her work has appeared in the Kenyon Review, Hilda Magazine and Transtierros, and is forthcoming in Dogwood: a Journal of Poetry and Prose.