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Have You Ever Kissed A Panther?

this woman thinks she’s a panther
and sometimes when we are making love
she’ll snarl and spit
and her hair comes down
and she looks out from the strands
and shows me her fangs
but I kiss her anyhow and continue to love.
have you ever kissed a panther?
have you ever seen a female panther enjoying
the act of love?
you haven’t loved, friend.
you with your squirrels and chipmunks
and elephants and sheep.
you ought to sleep with a panther
you’ll never again want
squirrels, chipmunks, elephants, sheep, fox,
never anything but the female panther
the female panther walking across the room
the female panther walking across your soul
all other love songs are lies
when that black smooth fur moves against you
and the sky falls down against your back,
the female panther is the dream arrived real
and there’s no going back
or wanting to—
the fur up against you,
the search over
and you are locked against the eyes of a panther.

Charles Bukowski

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