kissing me away

she was always on it
and she was quite beautiful and
all the men were jealous:
what was an old fuck like me
doing with a girl like
her?

she was always on
it.

we’d be driving along and
she’d say, “see that little
cove?   park over there.”

I’d hardly get it parked and
she’d be on it.

once I drove her to Arizona
and halfway there
late at night
after coffee and doughnuts
at an all-night joint
she bent over
and started in
while I was navigating the
dark curves through the
low hills
and as I kept driving
it inspired her to
unfound heights.

another time
in L.A.
we’d gotten hotdogs and cokes
and fries and we were eating in
Griffith Park
families there
children playing
and she unzipped me
and started.

“what the hell you doing?”
I asked her.

later
when I asked her
why
in front of everybody
she told me it was more
dangerous and thrilling
that way.

she asked me one
day, “what am I doing with an
old fuck like you
anyhow?”

I answered, “giving blow
jobs.”

“I hate that term!” she
said.

“sucking me off,” I
suggested.

“I hate that term
too,” she said.

“what would you prefer?”
I asked.

“I kind of like to think that
I’m kissing you away,”
she said.

“all right,” I said….

it was like any other
affair, there were
jealousies on both sides,
there were split-ups forever and
reconciliations.
there were also fragmented moments of
peace and minor beauty.

I tried to get away from her and
she tried to get away from me
but it was difficult:
cupid, in his way, was
there.

whenever I had to leave town
she kissed me away
good
a couple of nights in a
row
assuring my
faithfulness.

then I only had to
worry about
her.

when she wasn’t
kissing me away
we found time
to do it
in that other strange
way.

all that time with
her
was just mostly
sex:
being
kissed away or
waiting to be.

we never had to do
much else
we never went to
movies (which I hated
anyhow).
we never ate
out.
we were never curious
about
world affairs, we were
in coves or picnic
grounds
driving dark midnight
roads to New Mexico,
Nevada and Utah.

or
we were in her big oak
bed
facing south
for so much of the
time
that I memorized
each wrinkle in the
drapes
and especially
all the cracks in the
ceiling.

so I used to play games with
her about the ceiling.

“now see those cracks over
there?”

“where?”

“watch where I’m pointing…”

“o.k.”

“all right now, see those cracks, see the
pattern?   it forms into something.   guess
what it is.”

“umm, umm…”

“go on, what is it?”

“I know!   it’s a man drinking a bottle of
beer!”

“wrong.   it’s an elephant standing vedette
in the vervain.”…

we finally got away from
each other.
it’s sad but it’s
standard
and I am constantly confused by
the lack of durability in human
affairs.

I suppose the parting was
unhappy
maybe even ugly.
it’s been 3 or 4
years
and I wonder if she
ever thinks of
me, of what I am
doing?

of course, I know what she’s
doing.

and she did it better
than anybody
I ever met.

and I guess that’s worth a
poem, maybe.

if not, then a
notation: that such affairs are
not without use for either
party
and as Belgrade and tanks get
mixed up in old dreams
as salt and pepper dogs get
killed crossing roads
as the drawbridge rises to let
the drunken fishermen out to
sea

it wasn’t for nothing
that
she was always
on it.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1981
Source
Original manuscript