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
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.
Happy Constitution Day!
Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.