love

answering a letter to somebody in Alaska
the radio has been on to a modern group of
fellows and I have listened to their works
and have found that the favorite word in
all their songs is
“love”.

the person in Alaska is young but dying,
considering suicide, and he wants to know
what I think
about it all, he wants an answer, he needs
one
and it’s a difficult letter to write
as the young boy on the radio signs,
“you walk out on me, baby, and I’m
done…”

I change the station, get some classical
music, then my phone rings, it rings and
it rings
on a hot July night

and nothing ever goes as it should, it
goes as it must, and I move toward the
telephone
even as warheads are
constantly shuttled
underground
upon secretly located railroad tracks
so perhaps
the enemy missiles might not
locate them

I pick up the phone, say, “hello”,
and
wait.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1983
Source
Original manuscript