Jennifer L. Knox

It’s Not Your Fault
June 25, 2017 Knox Jennifer L.

It’s Not Your Fault


The brass lamp in your window,
warm honey heat humming
in the frozen prairie February dawn
when everything’s a stone of cold,
may have yoo-hooed at the hobo
teetering on his tattooed lip of
murder, but it didn’t open the
door. It’s a lamp. It’s handless.

Sudden nosebleeds know no
source upriver in your heart, your
intent, your languagelessness,
poor thing. What ding-dong
draws hearts on a platelet bag?
That bitter bitty in a backbend lies
to her lies ad infinitum. Loveless.
Swats bats with a squash racquet.
Would you believe, with a blush
like that, she’s 100 years old?

You never ate cancer berries
sleepwalking in the pantry
or sunk your hand into a sack
of endometriosis flour. Never.
Gene champion, that goon
over there gargles 409 and tacks,
and he sleeps like the biggest
baby ever—big as a runaway
parade balloon.

Jennifer L. Knox’s new book of poems, The Mystery of the Hidden Driveway, is available fromBloof Books. Her other books, Drunk by Noon and A Gringo Like Me, are also available through Bloof. Her poems have appeared four times in the Best American Poetry series (1997, 2003, 2006, and 2011) as well as the anthologies Great American Prose Poems, From Poet to Present and Best American Erotic Poems. Her work has also appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, American Poetry ReviewFence, McSweeney’s, and Bomb. She is currently at work on her first novel.