A note upon starvation

I’m not sure where I starved the most
Savannah, Atlanta, New Orleans, Philadelphia
or Los Angeles.
starving is not as terrible as it might
seem.
it is the first two or three days without
food
that are the worst.
about the fourth day
you begin to feel almost intoxicated
panic lessens
one sleeps well:
12 to 14 hours,
and most strange:
one continues to defecate.
and the sight of the eye increases:
everything is seen with impetuousness:
stems of apples
treads of tires
pores of dirt in alleys
shoelaces on other people’s shoes
buttons on their shirts
scabs and cuts on their faces
dirt beneath their fingernails
–colored wrappers around loaves of bread
street numbers painted on sidewalk curbings
fireplugs just sitting there
and most of all the sun
so bright
you walk through the light
and the light is inside and out
no message
just light
no fear.

people in the world starve to death.
I think I starved most in Atlanta.

now I have gone on a
diet.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1977
Source
Original manuscript
This poem appeared in the following books: