As if the world had four corners—in one, a war;
in another, a revolution against uninvited restrictions
on what one could think. In the third,
messages on microfilm tied to the ankles
of caged birds with teeth and talons pacing
and bickering about what "mine" means.
In the last, alone, someone dressed as the 21st century,
skyscraper hat, flat-screen glasses,
stood at a table wondering about side effects
of medications and reward systems that are triggered
when boredom is bred in brains.
In a parable of panic and habit, a pilot landing
a crippled plane is like a country
where fearful rulers destroy dissent and whatever remains
goes from bad to worse. Sleep tight, you martyrs.
And you criminals who killed for a narrow share
of power and a few rotten spoils.
Enough is enough.
The corners converge, causing the globe to grow smaller
than all of time times space divided
by every petty difference.
The girl newly dead on the sidewalk says,
"Excuse me, but—
what kind of moral force is brute moral force?"
TODAY IN SLATE
Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case
The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race
Here’s Just How Far a Southern Woman May Have to Drive to Get an Abortion
The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented
Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy
It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?
Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada
An All-Female Mission to Mars
As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.