Poem For The Death Of An American Serviceman In Vietnam

shot through a hole in the
bellybutton
9 miles wide–
   out it came:
   those indianhead pennies
   those old dead whores
   the sick sea walking like
pink
         toast
   past bottles of orange
         children
dripping
                  drip
                           dry

barometer
                     lowering
while the guns elevated like
   erections–
tossed the apple salad back
into the
   sky.

(he died then, stuffing balloons with
marbles as the prince
laughed.)

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1967
This poem appeared in the following books: