(The poet on her 66th birthday, Manhattan)
Two Men and Me
I left Bukowski again, went back to Bolaño,
Both men bad to their women. Me, like the rest,
couldn’t get enough. Both smoked and drank
themselves to death. They liked it rough, said
that was how they got their best writing done.
One winter we all ended up in hell, ran
into each other at a café. (REVISION: bar,
public bath…FILL IN THE BLANK). Chuck
wanted to fuck. Roberto punched him in the gut.
We quaffed a few whiskies. They knew. I knew.
I wasn’t that kind of girl. Instead, we set out to do
a three-way poem. Tu primero, said Bolaño.
“What?” Bukowski said. “No comprendo.”
“HOW FUCKED UP YOU GOTTA BE YOU CAN’T
UNDERSTAND SPANISH EVEN IN HELL?” Roberto was mad.
“You illegals!” the other started racializing the situation.
No wonder he was in hell, Then, again, we all were. “I’M NOT MEXICAN,
PINCHE GRINGO,” Roberto yelled throwing another swing.
This time he got me in the eye by mistake.
“There are no mistakes in hell,” the demon bartender said, handing me
some ice. “That’s the beauty of this place.” The guys stopped.
No one had ever seen ice in hell. Yeah, it was the start of
Ana Castillo/9/22/15 (Published FWJ, 2017, 2018 note: nominated for Pushcart, appeared in FWJ)