A Rat Rises. . .

in some suburban cellar
a rat rises and tongues the leaky bottom of your life;
dreams of Ciaro leave the body first,
such a November!—sweet pain tickling
like a fly, brushed off, it circles back
and settles again. . .
I will not lie:     I hear the cackle of the grave
on nights that cannot be drunk away,
and it has rained all this same day
and buying my paper
I saw the drops falling
from the newsboy’s hat
to his nose
and then falling from his nose
like snot. . .
but I doubt he ever considered
cutting his throat,
ending a quick love. . .
Ramsey, says a voice on the phone,
Ramsey, you sound so damned sad!
Downstairs a child draws circles in the mud,
it has stopped raining.
Circles, circles
weep less, wonder less.

I hear a voice singing.
I open a window.
A dog barks.
In Amsterdam a holy man trembles.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1962
This poem appeared in the following books: