A Love Poem


all the women
all their kisses the
different ways they love and
talk and need.

their ears they all have
ears and
throats and dresses
and shoes and
automobiles and ex-

mostly the women are very
warm they remind me of
buttered toast with the butter

there is a look in the
eye: they have been
taken they have been
fooled. I don’t quite know what to
do for

I am
a fair cook a good
but I never learned to
dance — I was busy
then with larger things.

but I’ve enjoyed their different
smoking cigarettes
staring at the
ceilings. I was neither vicious nor
unfair, only
a student.


I know they all have these
feet and barefoot they go across the floor as
I watch their bashful buttocks in the
dark. I know that they like me, some even
love me
but I love very

some give me oranges and vitamin pills;
others talk quietly of
childhood and fathers and
landscapes; some are almost
crazy but none of them are without
meaning; some love
well, others not
so; the best at sex are not always the
best in other
ways; each has limits as I have
limits and we learn
each other

all the women all
women all the
the rugs the
photos the
curtains, it’s
something like a church only
at times there’s

those ears those
arms those
elbows those eyes

looking the fondness and
the wanting I have been
held I have been

– Bukowski


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