Richard Hugo: In Your Fugitive Dream

Through Tuesday, 11 A.M., the shops are locked.
You try the meat store. Only the muffled buzz
of a fly inside. You rattle the glass
of the drugstore, yelling "I have a prescription."
A 40-watt bulb burns over the soda fountain.
You think, when you find no one around, if really
the town is empty, wind should be blowing.
Sun presses the buildings down. Birds
on the street seem to be resting enroute.
You break into a dress shop and imagine women
you've had in clothes the manikins wear.
You rip a dress from a plaster figure and roar.
The way you yell "rape" it echos about
the streets and comes back "hope" as it dies.
You find whiskey in the bar. You answer
your order with "Yes, sir. Coming right up."
When they find you the whole bar is laughing.
Men tell the police, "That guy's o.k.
Leave him alone," and the cop in charge grins.
You watch them search your luggage. Then
you remember what you carry and start to explain.



richard-hugoFrom Making Certain It Goes On: THE COLLECTED POEMS OF RICHARD HUGO