The Cost of Love

Gerald Stern

BPR 45 | 2018

If I had to I could have banged my head
on the mud-packed walls of my underground office
and maybe get a gash or two from the crystals
either on my oversized forehead or my cheekbones
for that is the cost of love I have been adding
up in the red, the one on the right it’s tricky to do
a balance isn’t it? For values are
hard to measure and I don’t read the book
of pain—I say enough of pain and down with
666—I’ll take kindness, most of all
kindness, for love is the murdered thing.