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again, by Charles Bukowski

June 02, 1996

now the territory is taken,

the sacrificial lambs have been slain,

as history is scratched again on the sallow walls,

as the bankers scurry to survive,

as the young girls paint their hungry lips,

as the dogs sleep in temporary peace,

as the shadow gets ready to fall,

as the oceans gobble the poisons of man,

as heaven and hell dance in the anteroom,

it's begin again and go again,

it's bake the apple,

buy the car,

mow the lawn,

pay the tax,

hang the toilet paper,

clip the nails,

listen to the crickets,

blow up the balloons,

drink the orange juice,

forget the past,

pass the mustard,

pull down the shades,

take the pills,

check the air in the tires,

lace on the gloves,

the bell is ringing,

the pearl is in the oyster,

the rain falls

as the shadow gets ready to fall again.

From "Betting on the Muse: Poems & Stories" by Charles Bukowski (Black Sparrow Press: $15; 402 pp.). Copyright 1996 Reprinted by permission.

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