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Know Thyself

by Alan Dugan


1

I must have meant something to her because she named her dog
    after me.
Now when I hear her boy-friend calling Dugan Dugan across
    the fields at sunset
I’m tempted to howl back at him but don’t because he doesn’t know
he’s calling part of me home to whine in sleep at the foot of their
    fucking bed.
He doesn’t know, she doesn’t know, I don’t know myself, I only know
I must have meant something to her because she named her dog
    after me.

2

I don’t know but I think she thinks she is the Field
    Marshall Montgomery
of sexual strategy in the World War II of love because
Montgomery named his dog Hitler and Hitler committed suicide,
but she doesn’t know that Montgomery lingered among the Dutch,
would not close the Falaise Gap, and bloodied his own troops
along the Atlantic coast while Marshall Zhukov took
the final filthy kennel and won that mad dog’s dehumanizing war.

 

Alan Dugan’s latest book, Poems 6, is published by Ecco Press. He is the recipient of, among others, the National Book Award, the Prix de Rome, and the Pulitzer Prize. (1990


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