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“I have come to love you in spite of—”
―Darin Strauss, Chang and Eng


straddling the windowsill                   watching morning glimmer

from the terminal spectral gray         becoming blonde as coffee

cools     here near where                   chirrups erupt       whoosh of man

hosing down cleft sidewalks               raising wraiths of spray against

loops of barbed wire that gem            in early sun       invisible spokes

of caffeine beginning to rotate           into awareness    porous enough

to feel nose-hairs filtering breath      the closest to psalms I come

this early     filled still with dawn       tuning strings   swooping pigeons

unfastening shutters    one pulse       in pure influence until the remote

resolves the screen into a voice          that fills the room like cologne


…stigmatized for years as circus

spectacles, hear what it’s really like

to be connected to a sibling…


conjoined twins flash                        on screen        two girls kissing

craniums      one faces                       one way   the other    another

sheen of polished teeth                     their specialist doctor

grinning beneath a solid side           shield mask to address us


…the result of a rare embryological

accident has made these two

sisters literally inseparable . . .


“serenity now” stops working                      contracts    sharing brain

tissue    they can’t be split                           must negotiate where to go

who speaks at what time                               how to dress   when to use

the bathroom    only agreeing                      being out in public

slightly torments them                      suddenly    I love them more

for that “slightly”                                          one a minute older      suffers

from spina bifida   still hopes                       to become a country singer

the other wants to be a nurse                       both hope to be mothers

they turn a practiced orbit                            each allowing the other equal

chance to address the camera                      looking directly through me

…I can’t imagine life without her

yet every day I try. I think God made us

this way because we are special..


then the keyboard synth loop             pounds their faces to commercial

blind sunrise blithely persistent        flickering through the window

I don’t even know their names          try to recall hope to feel whole   holy         land

rather on synapses     gray matter     invisible ubiquitous signals of spectrum parabola-

shot                              antenna-caught every single second

the same amount of time                   4.2 babies take to be born

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