To hear Karl Kirchwey read "Roman Park, Noon," click
The water, gray-green like your eyes,
blabs on in the absolute stillness.
The needle and thread of an old woman
move through a flash of white cotton
as she mutters, "Men like to kill."
A sphinx nearby rolls a man's skull
under its paw, prismed with
clear spray, and a girl's mouth
forms a grainy "O" of surprise
at the satyr lurking behind some acanthus.
Straight-backed girls play in the shade,
their blouses immaculate.
Two police officers water their horses
at the fountain's scalloped terraces.
A young man with a book
writes down the old woman's remark,
and the idled carousel's proprietor
reads a newspaper.
A babysitter is asleep,
angled in a corner of the sharp
iron bench. The baby is quiet,
asleep in the direct sunlight.
How shall we find our way in-
to this moment which stands between
us and a remembered future?
It is speaking, the water,
telling over each detail
with a retreating chuckle of gravel.
Loneliness is not appeased,
but the water is speaking, at least.
We will follow the glance of the water.
TODAY IN SLATE
Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison
In much of America, beating your children is perfectly legal.
Ken Burns on Why Teddy Roosevelt Would Never Get Elected in 2014
Cops Briefly Detain Django Unchained Actress Because They Thought She Was a Prostitute
Minimalist Cocktail Posters Make Mixing Drinks a Cinch
How the Apple Watch Will Annoy Us
A glowing screen attached to someone else’s wrist is shinier than all but the blingiest of jewels.
Rainbow Parties and Sex Bracelets
Where teenage sex rumors come from—and why they’re bad for parents and kids.
You Had to Be There
What we can learn from things that used to be funny.