demise

the son of a bitch
was one of those soft left wing guys
belly like butter who
lived in a big house, he
was a professor
and he told
her:
“he’ll be your
demise.”

imagine anybody saying
that:   “demise.”

we drove in from the track,
she’d lost $57 and she said:
“you better stop for something to
drink.”

she wore an old army jacket
and when I came out with the bottle
she took the cap off
and took a straight swallow right down–
a longshoreman’s suicide gulp
tilting her head back under dark glasses.

my god, I thought.

a nice country girl like that
who loves to dance.

her 4 mad sisters will never forgive me
and   that soft left wing son of a bitch
with a belly like butter (in that big
house) was
right.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1973
Source
Original manuscript
This poem appeared in the following books: