S.B. Merrow

Translating the Latest Polls 

Man enters the train bright
as an heirloom apple, a cinnamon pie, 
a cornucopia of a face. He wants 

to tell his story, to connect the loose 
ends of life lived elsewhere in
a country with its own, unique calculus 

(derivatives and simultaneous 
rates of change, changing with respect 
to multiple variables). 

He carries his burden, a loaf of bread,
and a solid aura. I catch a few words—
ningún, nadie, todos perdidos, before  

the train on its repeating loop sways 
into the tunnel, our points of contact 
erased — the cruelties of autumn, another 

election season. In the darkness 
he turns a deep juniper blue 
while beneath him, the earth holds its breath.

— The last, italicized line is from “My Brother The Artist, At Seven” by Philip Levine.

S.B. Merrow lives in Baltimore, where she wanders by foot and bicycle, often finding poems in the process. She also repairs and restores concert flutes for professional musicians. She is the author of a chapbook, Unpacking the China (QuillsEdge Press, 2016), and a full-length poetry collection, Everyone A Bell (Kelsay Books, 2020).