Eating Bugs From Bukowski

Charles gave me a bug

wrapped in cellophane.

‘Eat,’ he said.

‘Forget rhyme,’ he said.

Fuck rhyme.’

I hated him in daily doses

while I ate his bugs.

Charles had the LA grime in

his smile.

‘I could have had you,’ he said.

I looked around at the bar, the

Formica shine of strip lighting,

the cold, conditioned and unclean

air and the woman in a red fake

fur who purred,

‘You believe him, honey.’

She hung about for his cigarettes.

She opened and closed her thighs.

His low ass hung over his stool.

The bar lit up cheap orange in

cocktail delight while I snacked

on brown peanuts, bursting bug

salt on my tongue, and music

churned up low and hard,

and livid ghosts arrived with

their glass empty eyes, their limbs

dancing the smell off their bodies

slick and soft, and Charles lifted

the red furred woman onto his lap,

into a hell of sorts, and all his poetry

was a hot skin of drink and air.
Órfhlaith Foyle