In Berkey Hall
he is reading his paper
about Albertine’s lies, telling how
(in the anti-locution of the line)
Marcel does a quick step then
sort of plunks us on the forehead.
Earlier today the news was about
dairy farms, how it is that the distance
from Wisconsin sets the price of milk,
how it is all tied to welfare reform
and the American conscience
stretched out like the loneliest of back roads.
Before it rains the cows
in Hickmott’s pasture know, and so they
glide on the diagonal toward home
heavy udders like military duffels swing.
And I can only stop to watch them,
to ask who amongst us
knows the milk first drawn
(or the lie while it is being told)
before it becomes some other continent
like words in Berkey Hall.