Uruguay Or Hell

it should have been Mexico
she always liked Mexico
and Arizona and New Mexico
and tacos,
but not the flies
and so there I was
standing there —
durable
clothed,
waiting.

the priest was angry:
he had been arguing with the boy
for several days
over his mother’s right to have a
Catholic burial
and they finally settled
that it could not be in
church
but he would say the
thing at the grave.
the priest cared about
technicalities
the son did not care
except about the
bill.

I was the
lover
and I cared but what I cared for
was dead.

there were just 3 of
us:   son,
landlady,
lover.   it was
hot.   the priest waved his words
in the air and
then he was
done.   I walked to the
priest and thanked him for the
words.
and we walked
off
we got into the car
we drove away

it should have been Mexico
or Uruguay or hell
the son let me out at my
place and said he’d write me about a
stone but I knew he was lying
that if there was to be a stone
the lover would
put it there.

I went upstairs and turned on the
radio and pulled down the
shades.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1965
This poem appeared in the following books: