“Red Cloth”

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Dec. 4 2012 8:15 AM

“Red Cloth”

Beach at night.

Photograph by Stephanie Gimlette.

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

I went to this party, I stared at a man in orange glasses,
And then there was nothing to do
Except follow his red cloth shoes to the beach.

I buried the base of my glass and watched
As (naked) he staggered too close to the waves—

I sat in the sand and counted my bracelets.
The man in orange glasses said
Cape Breton’s so green—like living inside a salad!

Then he fell backward
Trying to trace a castle in the stars.

I am not sure why I’m convinced
That expressing contempt is my life’s work—
And I should’ve been back at that party

Building my own complex salad
Using unimpeachably local mushrooms (grown

On my body), not here, watching these waves
Throw the same length of chain at the shore.
And why do I crave not the shaved

And lotioned surface of his or any
Body, but only the tangy,

Throbbing interior? Wet wheels spinning, wet looms weaving,
One red tissue after another
Torn by my reach?

For Slate's poetry submission guidelines, click here. Click here to visit Robert Pinsky's Favorite Poem Project site.

Sara Peters was born in Nova Scotia and was a 2010-12 Stegner Fellow at Stanford. Her first book, 1996, will be published in April 2013 by House of Anansi.

TODAY IN SLATE

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again

The XX Factor

I’m 25. I Have $250.03.

My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I’m 25. I Have $250.03. My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.
Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Free Speech

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 3:13 PM Why Countries Make Human Rights Pledges They Have No Intention of Honoring
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 1:47 PM The Best Way to Fry an Egg
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 5:38 PM Justified Paranoia Citizenfour offers a look into the mind of Edward Snowden.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.