When You Meet the Roma at the River

your face translates
            for river and ever
translates your fate

sign her your sins
            and ever forgiver
sings she your sins

pay her your pay
            for debtors endeavor
to spit in the river

your sins will be
            and severed forever
spat into river

unlike the river
            a mirror reflecting
its framing forever

your sins will be
            just spit in the river
you’ll probably live

Copyright © 2016 Philip Metres. “When You Meet the Roma at the River” originally appeared in Pictures at an Exhibition (University of Akron Press, 2016). Used with permission of the author.