"Cartier," by Alexandra Teague

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Oct. 18 2011 7:10 AM

“Cartier”


Click the arrow on the audio player to hear Alexandra Teague read this poem. You can also download the recording or subscribe to Slate's Poetry Podcast on iTunes.

The old woman on the train tonight
tells me the Port of Oakland’s lights

look like Cartier’s chokers: so beautiful.
She gestures through the dirt-dull

glass. Pillbox hat and wool skirt
fetching and proper for Friday art,

she’s come from the immaculate
exhibit of another world. Such delicate

work. In the darkness, new and fallen
while we were under water, the cranes

as always lower cargo toward the boats:
the boxes pendent in the sudden glow

of diamonds … Cut and blazing,
as once I saw emeralds hatching

from jeweled eggs: the minute filigree
of skaters spinning beneath the icy

pearl moon, mechanical and scarved
in rubies. Small treasure casks the Tsar

ordered in the years before his family
died—shot in a cellar, topaz in their sleeves.

The eggs were love gifts for his wife,
each gold hinge lifting to another life—

a world inside this world, bright and jeweled.
A world inside this jeweled, blinding world.

.

.

.

For Slate's poetry submission guidelines, click here. Click here to visit Robert Pinsky's Favorite Poem Project site. Click here for an archive of discussions about poems with Robert Pinsky in "the Fray," Slate's reader forum.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

The Best Thing About the People’s Climate March in NYC

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

John Oliver Debunks the Miss America Pageant’s Claim That It Gives Out $45 Million in Scholarships

Trending News Channel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Over There
Sept. 22 2014 1:29 PM “That’s Called Jim Crow” Philip Gourevitch on America’s hypocritical interventions in Africa.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 1:37 PM Subprime Loans Are Back! And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.
  Life
Outward
Sept. 22 2014 2:55 PM Nuptial Expert Sarkozy Worries About Gay Marriage and the Family
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Television
Sept. 22 2014 2:12 PM Crusader, Sans Cape The superhero trappings of Gotham are just a clever disguise.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 12:14 PM Family Court Rules That You Can Serve Someone With Legal Papers Over Facebook
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 22 2014 11:23 AM Two Impacts, One Landslide … on Mercury
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.