from My Dear Double
by Donald Nicholson-Smith, translating from the French by Abdellatif Laâbi

copyright © English language copyright © Donald Nicholson-Smith, 2016

My double
an old acquaintance
whom I visit with moderation
He is a shameless fellow
who plays on my shyness
and has the knack of profiting
from my distractedness
He is the shadow
who follows or precedes me
aping my walk
He even winkles his way into my dreams
and speaks the language of my demons
Despite our close intimacy
he is still a stranger to me
I neither hate nor love him
for after all
he is my double
the proof by default
of my existence