I have practiced death for so long
and still I have not learned it,
and tonight I came in
and my goldfish was not in his bowl,
he had leaped
for reasons of his own
(I had changed the water; it might have been
a fly . . .)
And he was now on the rug
with black spots upon his golden body,
and he was still and he was stiff
but I put him back in the water
(some sound told me to do this)
and I seemed to see the gills move,
a large air bubble formed
but the body was still stiff
but miraculously
it did not float flat —
the tail part was down in the water,
and I thought of ships, of armies,
hanging on,
and then I saw the small fins
near the underside of the head
move
and I sat down on the couch
and tried to read,
tried not to think
that the woman who had given me these fish
was now dead 6 months,
the world going on past living things
now no longer living,
and the other fish had died.
he had overeaten, he had eaten his meal
and most of the meal of the small one.
and now the woman was gone
and the small one was stiff,
and an hour later
when I got up
he floated flat and finished:
his eyes looking up at me did not look at me
but into places I could not see,
and the slave carried the master,
this goldfish with black spots
and dumped him into the toilet
and flushed him away.

I put the bowl in the corner
and thought, I really cannot stand
much more of this.

dead fish, dead ladies, dead wars.
it does seem a miracle to see anybody alive
and now somebody on the radio is playing
a guitar very slowly and I think, yes,
he too: his fingers, his hands, his mind,
and his music goes on but it is very still
it is very quiet, and I am tired.

Diktet I thought of ships, of armies, hanging on . . . fra diktsamlingen The days run away like the horses over the hills av Charles Bukowski

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