Saying Goodbye to Love

no more stalling,
the war torch is lit
and all over the neighborhood
men rattle in their irons,
flares kite the sky
somebody rushes past,
a confused cock crows
and I strike up
a cigarette.

it is difficult to decide
where the enemy is:

I go inside
to wife and hound
both fat and soft
as peaches
under the

I shave by candlefat and lightning,
I shave by their holy silence
in a shattered mirror.

I put on my hat
and hug them both
like two jellychildren
lost in smoke;
then outside I go,
searching the West
(dim and hilly
I’m told)
with bright
mean eyes.

Charles Bukowski
The Roominghouse Madrigals: Early Selected Poems 1946-1966


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