Poetry Fiction 2010

By the Sea

More

The spears on the plain of Troy
Glittered like things that hadn’t been invented—

Holiday tinsel, bristling antennas,
A cabinet of needles at the flu clinic—

And the sea was closer, only two miles away,
Gleaming like a strip of blue gel toothpaste.

That’s when a grasshopper, the size of a stapler,
Or perhaps a computer mouse, or a brick

Of cheddar cheese in your refrigerator,
Jumped from a crack outside the walled citadel,

Scaring a mother as she pressed the tip
Of a fibula through the cloth of her son’s tunic.

The fibula looked like a big, crude safety pin—
There are lots in museums, including hers,

For she dropped it into dry grass, and later on
Warriors trampled it into the clay clods

Of her fertile land, their shrieks and thrusts
As they stabbed her boy, dragged her by the hair,

Untelevised, but still remembered
By those who listened and then repeated

And repeated the same stories over and over
In hoarse voices, on clay tablets, in type, in pixels.

Maura Stanton’s most recent collection of poems is Immortal Sofa (2008). She teaches creative writing at Indiana University.
Jump to comments
Presented by
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

This Short Film Skewers Hollywood, Probably Predicts Disney's Next Hit

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

How Will Climate Change Affect Cities?

Urban planners and environmentalists predict the future of city life.

Video

The Inner Life of a Drag Queen

A short documentary about cross-dressing, masculinity, identity, and performance

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down
More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In