society should realize

you consult psychiatrists and philosophers when things aren’t going well
and the whores when they are and aren’t, and
the whores help young boys and old
men; to the young boys they say,
“don’t be frightened, honey, here I’ll put it
in for you.”
and for the old guys
they’ll give you an act
like you’re really hooking it home,
and society should realize the value of the
whore–I mean, those girls who really enjoy their
work–those who make it an
art, and I’m not speaking of housewives and girlfriends who are
sometimes the
worst of whores
because their prices are inflated beyond all
value– asking the
soul.   the Woman’s Liberation Movement should
realize that the prostitute is the only free woman
and the only woman who allows a man
similar freedom.

I’m thinking of this time
in the large Mexican whorehouse
this gal with her little bowl and her rag
washing my dick
ahead of time, and it got hard and she laughed and I
laughed and she
kissed it, gently and slowly, then she walked over and spread out
on the bed
and I got on and we worked easily, no
tension, and some guy beat on the door and
“Hey! What the hell’s going on in there?
Hurry it up!”
it was like a Mahler symphony–you just don’t
when I finished and she came back, there was
the bowl and the rag again
and we both laughed; then she kissed it
gently and
slowly, and I got up and put my clothes back on and
walked out–
“Jesus, buddy, what the hell were ya doin’ in
“Fuckin’,” I told the gentleman
and walked down the hall and down the steps and stood
outside and lit one of those
sweet Mexican cigarettes in the moonlight,
and liberated and human again
for a mere $3, I
loved the night, Mexico and

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