2033 - The Inner Man

It isn’t the body
That’s a stranger.
It’s someone else.

We poke the same
Ugly mug
At the world.
When I scratch
He scratches too.

There are women
Who claim to have held him.
A dog follows me about.
It might be his.

If I’m quiet, he’s quieter.
So I forget him.
Yet, as I bend down
To tie my shoelaces,
He’s standing up.

We caste a single shadow.
Whose shadow?

I’d like to say:
“He was in the beginning
And he’ll be in the end,”
But one can’t be sure.

At night
As I sit
Shuffling the cards of our silence,
I say to him:

“Though you utter
Every one of my words,
You are a stranger.
It’s time you spoke.”

(Charles Simic)


© José Pacheco Pereira
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