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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

from "My Dear Double"

Donald Nicholson-Smith, translation from
the French written by Abdellatif Laabi

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