a hot sweaty day in August

we were starving
yet drinking
living in a cheap
apartment
always behind
in the rent
there wasn’t
much else to
do
but screw

and I was
working away
pumping
pumping
determined to
make it

I had failed
at
everything
else

I wanted to
make it
at that

I groaned
pumped
flailed

5 minutes
ten minutes

so near
so near

it was so
ridiculous
in a certain
sense

and finally
I felt myself
nearing
climax

victory
at last

and
at the exact moment
I climaxed

for no reason
the alarm clock
went off

and I rolled
off of her
laughing and
spurting

and she asked
angrily, “what’s
the matter
with you?”

and that made
it
worse

I kept laughing
and she ran
to the bathroom
slammed the
door

and I
wiped off
on the sheet

as the clock
sat there
innocently
reading:
2:30 p.m.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1983
Source
Original manuscript