The Double (after Dostovesky)
There he went, restlessly wriggling,
conniving into a crack, squeezing,
stuffed and incorrigible.
He left me in another room.
Behind my back in the coffehouse,
for my one donut, he purchased ten.
Waitress bills me for eleven.
His back, could it gesture, laughed.
He’s taking my job, he’s driving my car,
hands are not my hands. Foot flexes,
not at my command. I sleep,
he ravages crowds, steps on baby’s heads.
'Double’s' the wrong word.
Because he resembles doesn’t
double me. He’s a second. Tomorrow
will spawn other seconds to torment me.
Copyright 1999, James Esch
James Esch is a technical writer and freelance author who has been previously published in Grist Online, the Bridge, 04.11.78, Panopticon, Assorted Realities, The Open Scroll, among others. He is the editor/publisher of Orange Street Press, an online virtual publisher of books, spoken word, music and the literary zine, Sparks ( http://eserver.org/sparks/) .