the clothing

it’s 9:30 again
it’s always 9:30
and my underwear falls off
as dogs cross the avenues
where love has evaporated
like streetcars;
the man downstairs died
of a heart attack
and they’ve piled his clothes
in the doorway
but nobody takes his clothes
and he is not inside of them
and they are useless
like empty bottles,
like us,
like the walls climbing cedar leaves
like stairways outside
waiting for fire,
I think maybe if we don’t need a war
big enough to kill us
we might need an earthquake
large enough
to keep us alive;
9:30, 9:30, 9:30.

Charles Bukowski
This poem appeared in the following books: