…So we grew together
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
But yet an union in partition,
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem…
~William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Close to 1996 I try playing G.I. Joes with you and Brian, the hallway
carpet is a battle ground of bleeding soldiers.
I can’t make the correct “ugg” or ”pshh” sounds like you
two can, but I don’t have to- my female cobra commander never dies.
Close to 2002 when mom dies, you go outside and roll on the ground, refusing
to leave. The couple we barely know from church lead us to their
car so the adults can discuss funeral plans. I stare at you while we eat
stale cheerios at their two chair kitchen table.
You don’t speak to me.
Close to 1993 we put snow hats on our peach fuzz heads and tell mom
we are leaving. The front door opens to snow drifts
reaching the door knob. I grab my Barbie purse, and mom
slides boots onto your feet.
Close to 2009 I hide a goodbye letter inside your toiletry bag the
night before you move to Salt Lake City.
Tears dribble down my checks at two a.m., and I
secretly wish we were going to the same college.
Close to 2006 our step mom screams until her face is scarlet. Dad moves us
across town into a two bedroom guest house. At night we huddle
next to the living room vent, and you read me Oscar Wilde.
Your spine aches from sleeping on the couch.
Close to 2010 we spend the summer apart for the first time.
We communicate through poetry and cell phones.
In August you pick me up at the airport, and I notice
whiskers on your face.