5.90 per pound

the girl in the fishmarket stands with her back to
   she’s dressed in a brown smock and has long golden
I’m down at the docks and there are fish everywhere
and many of the fish are large and uncleaned and their
eyes look at me
   as a man steps out of an ice locker holding a
huge pink fish by its upper lip
   the girl in the fishmarket turns and looks at me
I ask her to weigh me a chunk of swordfish…

driving back toward town the fish is on the seat
   next to me
   wrapped in pink paper that is a little lighter
   than the color of the huge pink fish

I drive back toward my house
   up the driveway and
   park the car in the garage

I walk into the house
   where the woman I live with is talking
on the telephone
   she is very often talking
on the telephone
and it’s best that she does this

I take the fish out of the paper and put
   it in the refrigerator
then I go upstairs and listen to the Mass
in B Minor by
   Johann Sebastian Bach.

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript
This poem appeared in the following books: