bathtub

I am at this one’s place and the phone rings
and it is the other one and
she wants to speak to me
but (a)tells (b) that she hears that
she hasn’t been feeling well and
hopes that she gets better and that–
“ooops!   here comes Hank in a bathtowel
and he’s dripping wet!”
(b) says she wants to see me
but I tell her that first I must have
lunch with (a) because I promised her
that.   I tell her that I will be along
in two hours.

so I sleep with (a) on Tuesday night
and (b) on Wednesday night
while trying to forget about (c)
who I met while I was thinking about
committing suicide over
(d)
who I no longer think about.

meanwhile (a) and (b) ask me similar
questions and make similar statements
like:
“do you sleep with your dick up her ass
like you do me?”
“do you ever think of bigamy?”
“let’s all go out together some night.”
and
“I love you.”

meanwhile
I think about (c) but know
that if I can stay away from her
that I won’t think about (c) any longer
just like I don’t think about (d)
any longer.

now (e)
she was something else
but she managed to die of alcoholism,
and sometimes (d) phones and I fly out to see
her
even though I no longer think of her
and I believe she wants to murder me
I still fly out to see (d)
while thinking about (c)
who I am determined not to think about
or see
anymore.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1976
Source
Original manuscript
This poem appeared in the following books: