The One Thing in Life by Gerald Stern

The One Thing in Life by Gerald Stern

Wherever I go now I lie down on my own bed of straw

and bury my face in my own pillow.

I can stop in any city I want to

and pull the stiff blanket up to my chin.

It’s easy now, walking up a flight of carpeted stairs

and down a hall past the painted fire doors.

It’s easy bumping my knees on a rickety table

and bending down to a tiny sink.

There is a sweetness buried in my mind;

there is water with a small cave behind it;

there’s a mouth speaking Greek.

It is what I keep to myself, what I return to;

the one thing that no one else wanted.

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