Just under the dairy farm’s hayloft, a four-day-old calf, big, soft, earth- colored eyes, looked exhausted, slightly affronted, hard-skulled already but other- worldly, world- weary, as if it had been here many times before and was none too pleased to be back as a cow in this cow-hating, cow-devouring, cowardly country. “Next time, try coming back as a poet,” I wanted to say. “Then we’ll talk.” Or maybe I should come back as a cow so I could appreciate, retro- spectively, my present good fortune. I think I was an orangutan once, perhaps a scorpion, possibly also a slave or a murderer. But never a cow in America, where the dis- assembly lines at slaughterhouses move so fast the animals don’t have time to die and so are hacked apart, still struggling to escape. This one, at least, would have a pasture and be milked instead of killed, fed well, probably even talked to. Still I felt her trapped intelligence, saw the shoulder- shrug look of rotten luck in her eyes and the wish to be elsewhere, the wish to return and begin again I’d forgotten I knew so well.