by Raymond Carver 

In order to be able to live
on the right side of the law.
To always use his own name
and phone number.  To go bail
for a friend and not give
a damn if the friend skips town.
Hope, in fact, she does.
To give some money
to his mother.  And to his
children and their mother.
Not save it.  He wants
to use it up before it’s gone.
Buy clothes with it.
Pay the rent and utilities.
Buy food, and then some.


Go out for dinner when he feels like it.
And it’s okay
to order anything off the menu!
Buy drugs when he wants.
Buy a car.  If it breaks
down, repair it.  Or else
buy another.  See that
boat?  He might buy one
just like it.  And sail it
around the Horn, looking
for company.  He knows a girl
in Porto Alegre who’d love
to see him in
his own boat, sails full,
turn into the harbour for her.
A fellow who could afford
to come all this way
to see her.  Just because
he like the sound
of her laughter,
and the way she swings her hair.