i would have written

--

dear Mr. Bukowski.

--

even though,

on the face of it,

we are not similar

--

you were born in 1920,

me,

1990,

you are male,

i am female

--

you are dead

--

but something in your poetry

spins something

and makes me wish i knew you

or perhaps

makes me wish i knew

humanity

--

that is not quite right

--

because you make me feel like

i know humanity

or, perhaps,

like i already knew

the humanity within

an old man who drinks

too much

and a fly that

buzzes

(beautifully)

--

perhaps, instead,

you helped me realise it is

okay

to know

only this

--

that to be human

in this

empty bed

in this

plain white room

while that

unknown man paces above me

is…

--

but that is not quite right either

perhaps, all i wanted to say,

Mr. Bukowski,

is that i do not know

how to say

this feeling i get

when the poetry of a man

who was half dead

before i was born

keeps me awake til

three in the

morning

or how to say

this desire that is

deep in my stomach,

to write,

and let you know

how odd,

that this unformed girl

finds your words so

familiar,

when we must have been so

different

--

and that you helped her find

the beauty in

nothing,

that is to say,

that you helped her find the beauty in

--

life