Cleaving saramago

António Clara

“the original of which—
I am the duplicate”
—José Saramago
The Double

António Clara—stretches
out in bed—feeling Machiavellian
full of skill—and cunning
pondering—the possibilities
of resemblances—twins
absolute identities—and

my whole bag—of tricks
to script—the ongoing play
the momentary—unpleasantness
this wretched—so-called twin
Tertaliano Máximo Afonso
—conjugal disquietude
for Helena & me—wishing that
I António Clara—were more
like Helen—so concise, pithy
full of repartee—ready to debate
this Afonso upstart—face-to-face
with no witnesses—to blab about it

perhaps a terse—telephone call
a quick conversation—leaving Afonso
dumbstruck—breathless & stunned
by the skill—of my machinations
my dialectical—genius & timing
putting a stop—once & for all
to any of his—nefarious plans for
Helen and me—present or future
how to lose—this copy of myself
this bastard—embryonic double
this despicable—doppelganger?

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