Inner Man by Charles Simic

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 un 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."

by Charles Simic

Other poems by 'Charles Simic'

Wherein Obscurely

Private Eye

The Bather

Coal

To The One Upstairs

The Wooden Toy

Against Winter

Summer In The Country

Read Your Fate

Mummy's Curse