Horizon

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Feb. 18 1999 3:30 AM

Horizon

To hear the poet read "Horizon," click here.

Mother, I think, what could comfort you?

I might as well ask a piece of paper
for panaceas. I remember the fevers,
the figments of your agitations:

once the balustrades of our house
trembled, your children turned wooden
and burned to leave you. Now,

in your den of grievances, you seem
cornered, possessed, relentless,
all repudiation of reason. So I try

to change subjects, anything wild
from the news: a scandal, a strange
scientific wonder, like the dinosaur

fossil with feathers. That makes you
sullen, flat. I can't think how
to disarm or distract. Then, as if

I'd fallen suddenly asleep and you need
to wake me, you inject a dead
enemy's name, her antique crime,

and your old animation's restored--
that animus, like ash, aflame once more!
A hundred miles from your telephone,

I watch a small white sailboat
that appears to be in flight, or like
a feather, afloat, untethered, so

heavenly I know not to mention it.
A hundred miles from you, I see bay
and sky becomes one color, pearl blue.

The horizon beyond us both, invisible.

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 16 2014 11:46 PM The Scariest Campfire Story More horrifying than bears, snakes, or hook-handed killers.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.