Gerald Stern
Drowning on the Pamet River

Because of the pull I ended up swimming in the grasses

a hundred yards from nowhere my beloveds

ready to jump in after me a black willow

rushing in to save me—my kind of dolphin—you

think I struggled a yard at a time but I was

nudged a little that’s why my lips were red

instead of blue that’s why I had the words

to the Disney Doodle still on my tongue and I was

waltzing under your huge white towel your bathrobe

over my head hot tea already burning

my throat that’s why I loved the two labradors

so much that’s why I kissed you so desperately.

Found In Volume 28, No. 02
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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.