Truth went through a leaky funnel starting in late 1963

that blade-lit afternoon Gary Orrin laughed at Kennedy’s murder

bleeding through the static of P.S. 41’s cheap PA. There’s Greenwich Village—

a drowsy dandelion—I called it once—and there

are the heartsick monitors of afternoons. 

My mother is late to pick me up, again. She’s almost better,

but will never find a way to manage the cure. Outside American family life,

nothing happens for years until OJ’s glove: interspersed with some other

sloppy American truth. If I didn’t know everything I already know

I could count on the dog while she rifles through her morning bowl

in the next room. Poor Ruby. She knows more than I do.

She is eating the world to save it.

Copyright © 2017 by Michael Klein. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 30, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.