I love the cows best when they are a few feet away
from my dining-room window and my pine floor,
when they reach in to kiss me with their wet
mouths and their white noses.
I love them when they walk over the garbage can
and across the cellar doors,
over the sidewalk and through the metal chairs
and the birdseed.
--Let me reach out through the thin curtains
and feel the warm air of May.
It is the temperature of the whole galaxy,
all the bright clouds and clusters,
beasts and heroes,
glittering singers and isolated thinkers
From “This Time: New and Selected Poems” by Gerald Stern (W.W. Norton: 288 pp., $27.50)