Don’t ever think of Coney Island
where the rabbits once ran wild
or the afternoon we went swimming
though it was only May for we had graduated
and we spent the night eating hot dogs at Nathan’s
and took the Screamer back to 96th Street.

Nor should you love too much the white pole
or the long and noisy ride through Brooklyn
the No. 2 that delivered you to your front door
the Dutch freighter that delivered you to Antwerp,
then the Gare du Nord.

Nor your stubbornness every morning at the small table
and what it was like to walk out into the sunlight
and how the blue particles were your chief influence,
that and the Book of Isaiah
and King Lear rolling in the dirt on Chalk Mountain
the early part of your life.

From Galaxy Love: Poems by Gerald Stern. Copyright © 2017 by Gerald Stern. Used with permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.