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Naked, We Looked More Alike photo

Naked, we looked more alike
than different: milk white, spattered

with freckles, two canvases hung
side by side for children to toss

handfuls of paint at. Meat sisters,
They once said; We’re all meat

sisters. Their way of saying human,
kindred. They possess their body

utterly. I possess my body
as one might possess something

unwanted: a debt, an ugly 
giftcoat. I crave the lack of my

thousand siblings, all the absence they’re
able to hold. Thou shalt not

covet, and all that. There is
a great number of terrifying

practices, not the least of which is
the married couple who sit each

Tuesday and ask one another
across their scuffed cedarwood table

Would you like a divorce? Trust,
intimacy: it’s all a bit difficult.

When They begin to compare the width
of our thumbs, I fear an animal fear, the kind

that chooses its mate based on plumage,
intricacy of nest. The root is this:

how can I be certain there is not something
in the stretch of my skin that does not,

when read closely enough, whisper
inadequate? A friend’s lover once gifted

her a plant, which for months she watered
dutifully, only to discover, after leaving it outside to die,

it had been plastic from the onset. There’s room here,
They say, turning over my palms, for something to grow.

They drip slow blue wax on me,
bind my pinkies with the old twine.



image: Doug Paul Case