To My Doppelganger

Stephen Dunn

You were always the careful one,
who’d tiptoe into passion
and cut it in half with your mind.
I allowed you that, and went
happier, wilder ways. Now
every thought I’ve ever had
seems a rope knotted
to another rope, going back
in time. We’re intertwined.
I’ve learned to hesitate
before even the most open door.
I don’t know what you’ve learned.
But to go forward, I feel,
is to go together now. There’s a place
I’d like to arrive by nightfall.


Selected from Here and Now by Stephen Dunn. Copyright © 2011 by Stephen Dunn. With permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. This selection may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher. See