Jennifer L. Knox


After ten years went by, all citizens were invited
to search for the body because they thought
we’d never find it, but I’ve lived here all my life.
I never knew the itch was a frozen part of me
paying attention till I could let it off the leash
alongside my dog who knew everything I knew
but none of the nonsense—this made him our boss.
You can’t explain how you know something
unknowable. They’ll think you did it. After thinking
“She’s here” for a year and she wasn’t, I could’ve
kept on being wrong, but I caught a cold that lasted
all winter. What to make of that? Our first trip back
out, the dog whined at a different turn. Is he not
a citizen? By the way, the right field mirrored
the wrong one perfectly but for a few long-gone
branches, broken and swept off by wind.

Jennifer L. Knox is the author of four books of poems. The Los Angeles Book Review said of her most recent book, Days of Shame & Failure, "This panoply of twenty-first century American human experience leaves the reader a different person." Her work has appeared four times in The Best American Poetry series as well as in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and American Poetry Review. She teaches at Iowa State University and is currently at work on a culinary memoir.