The whole point was getting rid of glut
for which I starved myself and lived with the heat down
and only shaved oh every five days and used
a blunt razor for months so that my cheek
was not only red but the hair was bent not cut
for which I then would be ready for the bicycle
and the broken wrist, for which—oh God—I would be
ready to climb the steps and fight the boxes
with only nothing, a pair of shoes, and once
inside to open the window and let the snow in
and when the fire was over climb down the icy
fire escape and drop the last twenty
feet with notebooks against my chest, bruises
down one side of my body, fresh blood down the other.
From Save the Last Dance by Gerald Stern. Copyright © 2008 by Gerald Stern. Reprinted by permission of W.W. Norton. All rights reserved.

Poems by This Author

The Preacher [As if the one tree you love] by Gerald Stern
As if the one tree you love so well and hardly
Apocalypse by Gerald Stern
Of all sixty of us I am the only one who went
Books by Gerald Stern
How you loved to read in the snow and when your
Counting by Gerald Stern
Day of Grief by Gerald Stern
I was forcing a wasp to the top of a window
Death By Wind by Gerald Stern
Kissing Stieglitz Good-Bye by Gerald Stern
Every city in America is approached
Magnolia by Gerald Stern
The mayor, in order to marry us, borrowed
My Sister's Funeral by Gerald Stern
Since there was no mother for the peach tree we did it
Sylvia by Gerald Stern
The Dancing by Gerald Stern
In all these rotten shops, in all this broken furniture
The Sparrow by Gerald Stern
Here’s a common sparrow, a bit of a schnorrer