Here inside this fiction of myself,
Two voices I always hear, both of them mine,
I guess, one of them telling the truth, I guess.
I don’t know which one it is that’s telling the truth,
The voice that said what it was it had to say
And heard what it said when it said it, and didn’t know
Exactly what had become of the person who said
What it was he said, just now, to tell the truth.
Always like this. Always it’s been like this.
The one that told my parents who I was,
And told my wife who I was, and told my children,
And told whoever it was I was talking to,
So help me god, telling the truth, so help me.
David Ferry's Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations, published by the University of Chicago Press in 2012, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and winner of the National Book Award. His other recent book, published in Britain by Waywiser Press, is On This Side of the River.