Charles Bukowski – Girl on the esculator

as I go toward the escalator
a young fellow and girl get on ahead of me.
her dress, her stockings are skin-tight.
she places one foot above the other
upon the steps and her behind
assumes its position.
the young man looks all about.
he appears worried.
He looks at me.
I look away.

no, you see, I am looking away,
I am not looking at your girl’s behind,
don’t worry, I respect everything,
the flowers that grow, the birds, the sky, the universe.

I sense that the young man feels better and I am glad for him.
I know his problems: the girl has a mother and a father and maybe a brother,
and undoubtedly a bunch of relatives and
she like to dance and flirt and she likes to go to movies and
sometimes she chews gun and talks at the same time and
she enjoys the dumbest TV shows and
she thinks she’s an actress and
she doesn’t always look good and
she has a terrible temper and
sometimes she goes crazy and
she can talk for hours on the telephone and she wants to go to Europe every summer
and she wants you to own a Mercedes and she’s in love with
Mel Gibson and her mother is a sneak
drunk and her father secretly hates blacks, browns and yellows
and she snores and is also cold in bed and
she has a guru, a guy who met Christ
in the desert in 1978, and she wants to be a sky-diver and she’s unemployed and
gets migraine headaches everytime she
eats sugar or cheese.

I watch him take her up the further escalator,
his arm protectively about her waist, thinking he’s
thinking he’s macho,
thinking that nobody in the world has
what he has.

and he’s right, terribly
terribly right, holding on to
that batch of
flagellate protazoa,
carbon dioxide,
phlegm and


Source: Charles Bukowski manuscript

Charles Bukowski – Girl on the esculator.

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