Plea to a Passing Maid

girls in shorts, biting your nails, revolving your ass,
the boys are looking at you —
                                                  you hold more, it seems,
than Ganguin or Brahma or Balzac,
more, at least, than the skulls that swim at our feet,
your swagger breaks the Eiffel tower,
tears the sharks from the heart,
turns the heads of old newsboys long ago gone
sexually to pot;
your caged malarky, your idiot’s dance . . .
mugging it, delightful — don’t ever wash stained under-
wear or chase your acts of love
through neighborhood alleys —
don’t spoil it for us,
putting on weight and weariness,
settling for TV and a namby-pamby husband;
don’t give up that absurd dispossessed wiggle
to water a Saturday’s front lawn —
don’t send us back to Balzac or introspection
or Paris
or wine, don’t send us back
to the incubation of our doubts or the memory
of death-wiggle, bitch, madden us with love
and hunger, keep the sharks, the bloody sharks,
from the heart.

Charles Bukowski
This poem appeared in the following books: