and I stepped on it.
I heard its little head pop and crunch.
There was love juice on my shoe.
I heard love dripping in the basement and I almost threw up.

I hear love on my radio all the time.
Some people try to analyze it
and they write it all up in newspapers
just like term papers.
They need a reason to write term papers.
I need a reason to carve up love,
all greasy and hot from the oven.

I eat sweet dark love.
I chew it up in my mouth until it is
grainy liquid pulp
and then I suck it down my throat.

Some people think I mean sex.
I saw sex in a dream.
Sex is not at all what I mean.
Sex is a liquid pool, an inner ear.
Love is the brittle confusion,
no scheme, not an idea of the flatulent brain,
not jargon.

Love crawls and begs and disappears.
It’s the suicide in you that you don’t do
and the ability to withstand pain.

Image credit:insight pest

Douglas Goodwin's books include Hung Like a Hebrew National, Half Memory of a Distant Life, and Slamming it Down. The latter two include a foreword by Charles Bukowski, who championed Goodwin's verse and corresponded with Goodwin over several years. Much of the Goodwin-Bukowski correspondence appears in the feature "Letters to Douglas Goodwin" in the 2015/16 edition of the Charles Bukowski Society Jahrbuch 2015/16, edited by Roni and Sönke Mann, out of Bamberg, Germany. Goodwin also collaborated with poet Steve Richmond on the literary magazine stance in the 1980s.