the ladies who rip men apart

they sit across from me and talk
but their voices are very loud
and they laugh too much
and soon I have a headache
and they tell me about their men
how they had to throw this one out
and how the other one tried to
kill himself when she left him,
and they walk on
and most of them are a little bit
heavy and a little bit
and after they leave
I think about the men who need them:
those are the kind of men who would consider
suicide if they lost their jobs as stock boys at

there are men who need women like they once
needed their mothers.
there are men who need these loud laughing
wenches of no attraction
spiritual or physical
and the women feast on the men
like peanuts
like sunflower seeds
and throw away the shells
and tell other people of their
while holding a can of Coors in one hand
and a Marlboro in the other.

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