Featured Poem: Domestic by Gerald Stern

by Megan Sexton  ·  January 17, 2012

Gerald Stern


It was as if his gills were going in and out

and there was a croaking noise he made that scared her

almost to death he imitated while lying

under her heavy salty blanket she pulled

up to his neck and tucked in at his sides

for she was going to read a little afterwards

and put her glasses on that perched on the edge

of her English nose and held her head in her hand

while he took in, for a second only, the streaks

of lightning mixed with the moonlight as if one brightness

was not enough, two gods he thought, and how the

river would smell tomorrow as he swam over

the greasy rocks and she would take him again

in her brackish arms that more than reading and more than

music it was she overcame her sorrow

and that is why her elbows were sore and the rotten

underwater steps gave way and love

rushed into her mouth and mercy broke over her head.

From Five Points Volume 13.3