Today while doctors separate
conjoined Iranian twins
beneath fluorescent lights in Singapore,
my son whirls through the yard,
orbited by his two best friends,
The three spin the world
into a gritty dust storm;
I see only profiles, appendages,
angles and curly mounds of hair.
I hear fortissimo, full-mouthed guffaws.
I guess it's silent in Singapore--
except for the drills and the
exhalations of serious, creased--
browed surgeons that penetrate
skulls, divide bone
that's thicker than expected;
bone that's been a wall
between two women's bodies,
Bones like a curtain between brains
In the yard, my son's blond hair
illuminates his friends' replicated faces.
He knows them by heart,
calls their names without stopping
to search for clues:
noses askew or bushier brows.
their dance a game--
six hands, six feet, three heads
that celebrates autonomy.
Stunned, I slump into a chair
when the news reveals the deaths
of the brave conjoined twins,
who only wanted to live apart.
The injustice fills the room like a fog,
a bitter miasma. I inhale it, and
strain my eyes to see.
Suddenly, the boys clear the air,
a whirlwind of young bodies
reeling into the room,
individual body parts,
shoving, groping, supping
on the victuals of life.