the march

whenever I hear the March to the
Gallows 
I think of her
in that blue milkmaid’s dress
that showed off her
hips
there in Santa Fe
it was raining
the March was playing
the wine was pouring.
there were even burning
candles!
it was a large but
comfortable
house
and I told her what she
was doing to
me,
what a miracle it
was.
I was so poor and
ugly
and there I was
with
her.
I was also a
drunk
and I loved my
wine
and I went at
it.
the March played
on and on,
overhead.
it ended, then
repeated
again.

I looked up
and there she was
on the couch,
absolutely
naked,
milk-
white.

an astonishing
and riveting
sight.

“I’ll be right there,”
I said, “just one more
drink…”

I never made
it.

she drove me to the
airport the
next day.

some months passed
and then there was a
letter from
her:

“….you looked so sad
on that drive to the airport…
I’ve had thoughts of you…
I’ve gotten a new car
now…bright red…it’s silly
but I can’t think of the
model, you know, who
made it…. It’s raining now.
When it rains here it
rains like hell… remember?
oh, I’m a lesbian now.
We live together, Doreen
and I.   We have some
terrible arguments but
basically, I’m happy…
How you doing?….”

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1991
Source
Original manuscript
This poem appeared in the following books: