my women of the past keep trying to locate   me.
I duck into dark closets and pull the overcoats

at the racetrack I sit in my clubhouse seat
smoking cigarette after cigarette
watching the horses come out for the post parade
and looking over my shoulder.

I go to bet–this one’s ass looks like that one’s
ass used to.
I duck away from her.

then that one’s hair might have her under it.
I get the hell out of the clubhouse and go
to the grandstand to bet.

I don’t want a return of any of the past.
I don’t want a return of any of those glorious
ladies of my past,
I don’t want to try again, I don’t want to see
them again even in silloutte form;
I give them all, all of them to all the other
men in the world, they can have these darlings,
these tits these asses these thighs these minds
and their mothers and fathers and sisters and
brothers and children and dogs and x-boy friends
and present boy friends, they can have them and
fuck them and hang them

I was a terrible and a jealous man who mistreated
them and it’s best that they are with you
for you will be better to them and I will be
better to myself
and when they phone me or write me or leave
I will return them all to you
my fine fellows

I don’t deserve what you have and I want to
keep it that way.

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript