A basket of scones swaddled in blue-checked cloth,
slanting floorboards, brass bedsteads, lace curtains to soften
the narrow, 19th-century view of neighboring shingles—
we had paid for quaint. The sea, three streets away,
like a giant quilt an invalid had shoved down:
low tide. We turned from the heave-ho dunes
back to the boutiques, their improbable lingerie,
leather halters, handcuffs, whips, and paper roses.
Cafes proffered espresso and Portuguese soup.
Wind sawed at chimneys, sleet buckshot the panes.
I drew you as you slept, your marred della Robbia calm,
too late for a mother to keep you from further breakage.
Next morning you drew me reading: your pencil probed
crevasses round my eyes, grooves at my mouth,
a geological survey of a glacier's retreat—
we are dying at different rates, in different lights
in a temporary décorof oak and chintz.
As I settled the bill, you melted away—to smoke,
to breathe, and appeared three brick-lined blocks up the hill
talking with a spindly stranger about his plan
to end his life, and his illness, six months hence.
A soot-bellied cloud was lifting. Did you say, "Good luck"?
Clamped in the car, we turned our backs, for now,
on the edge of that continent.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Right Target
Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.
The One National Holiday Republicans Hope You Forget
It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is
I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights
Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.
Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.
It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice
Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.
- School District Wants to Censor American History Curriculum to Make It More Patriotic
- U.S. Federal Prison Population Drops for the First Time in Decades
- Conservative Star D’Souza Avoids Jail Time for Illegal Campaign Contributions
- Moderate Chinese Intellectual Sentenced to Life in Prison After Show Trial
In Defense of HR
Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.