Gerald Stern
Albatross I

Please listen, there’s a thing back there I killed

that’s spiritual and has two wings like anything

we love forever—take the pigeon, take the

bluebird—I would rather walk with a can

than hurt a bluebird; I would kill anyone who stuffed

a full-grown frog into a mason jar

and threw him from a third floor window, the glass

cutting his body, penetrating his mouth

and eyes.  You have to get down there and kill

the frog yourself before you run up the stairs

and beat him, holding him half out the window, let his

name be erased for the thing back there.

Found In Volume 33, No. 03
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Gerald Stern
About the Author

Gerald Stern’s many books include Divine Nothingness: Poems (W. W. Norton, 2014); In Beauty Bright: Poems (W. W. Norton, 2012); Early Collected Poems: 1965-1992 (W. W. Norton, 2010), Save the Last Dance: Poems (2008); Everything Is Burning (2005); American Sonnets (2002); Last Blue: Poems (2000); and This Time: New and Selected Poems (1998), which won the National Book Award.