mosquito

we had made good love
and were about to go to
sleep
and then there was the
sound of it
“Jesus Christ!” I said
and jumped from under the
blankets.
I switched on the
lights
I saw it up in the
corner–
top ceiling–
long and lingering and
waiting
mindless as a blob of
shit
but
not quite.
“turn out the lights and
come back to bed,”
she said.
I did that
but couldn’t sleep that
way.
I let my nose slip out
then I heard it
that sound
quite near
I leaped out and
switched on the
lights
I found a broom in her
kitchen and poked and
swung at
those thin nozzle strings.
somehow
it vanished.

all things repeated:
sounds:
lights on:
lights off.
I got up and began putting
on my shorts.
“what are you doing?”
she asked me.
“I’m leaving,” I told
her.
“you mean to say,” she said,
that a tiny thing like a
mosquito can drive a 230 pound
man like you out of this
house?”
“yes,” I told
her.
“most men,” she said,
“having me
would totally overlook
that.”
“that’s true,” I said
tying my
shoelaces.

she knew something that
night
she let me go that time
without the vast
emotional
harangue

and I believe it was not
too much later
that it happened without
the mosquito at
all.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1978
Source
Original manuscript
This poem appeared in the following books: