parts dept.

first moved into this neighborhood
was having trouble with the Volks
went to this place for parts
thin German fellow with one arm
missing (had the other sleeve,
the empty one, pinned neatly
down by the waist)
was told to come back the next
day, the part would be ordered.
came back, the part was there,
paid and left.
drove on in, said:   “Linda, a
really strange thing happened.
went in one day and there was
one arm.   came back and there
were two arms.   the other arm
wasn’t fake, it had natural
fingers and all that. it’s
not understandable.”

later driving near the area
Linda wanted to see the man
who had one arm missing and
then had two arms.

drove down 5th street, the
building was not there
drove down 6th street:
San Pedro is not a large
city, at least the downtown
area is small.
drove up and down all
the main streets, the building
was gone.

hung a right and headed for
McCowan’s, remembered the cats
needed cat food.

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript
This poem appeared in the following books: