Always got caught out by their shadows:
Stuck to their soles like monkeys on trapezes,
Cellophane fortune tellers curling on palms,
Squashed black jelly babies. Naïve beside his
Cunning swirls: ugly blobs leaking like ink
Out of the cages that held their likenesses.
Glimpsed through cheeks or at the back
Of yawning, unravelled mouths.
Keep looking at the shadows, the shadows
That try to love their creator
While their doubles shave obscenely
Or choose stubbornly to read the newspapers.
Stephen Devereux has published poetry, short stories, critical essays and travel writing in magazines in the UK and internationally. He was runner-up in the Elmet Foundation Ted Hughes Poetry Prize. His work appears on the Poetry Library archive, for which he has made recordings.