Who is this double goer, this familiar stranger
following me with pockets full of moths—
this moonlit strider, hawker who won’t pass by
even when I pause to make a call—this changer
of pace and posture, alley pisser with swaths
of unrequited time?
What does he spy
in the limp rose on my lapel—in my unrest—
the half-smoked cigarette, my borrowed clothes?
Why must he check his pocket watch?
must he escort me to my door in his pressed
120 The Paris-American
Michael Shewmaker is a Wallace Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University. His poems appear or are forthcoming in Yale Review, Southwest Review, Sewanee Theological Review, New Criterion, The Journal, American Arts Quarterly, and elsewhere. His work has been recently awarded a Gates Scholarship from Texas Tech University and a Tennessee Williams Scholarship to attend the Sewanee Writers' Conference. Currently, he lives in Menlo Park, CA with his wife, Emily. He can be found online at www.michaelshewmaker.net.
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