once upon a time, there lived a pair of lovelaced sisters bound by string and tied by laughter to a travelling circus that roamed the wonderwise world.
A MARVEL, came the crier. AN ANOMOLY IN ITSELF.
the stage was always the set and the mood was always dark. they wore a new story every night because it was the nothing they always knew.
FOURTEEN YEARS AGO, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, OUR RINGLEADER RECEIVED A STRANGE LETTER, the crier always brayed, hoarse like radishes grated in the sand.
IT WAS FROM THE QUEEN OF KIRIBATI, A PROUD ISLAND NATION. SHE HAD BEEN BLESSED AND CURSED WITH TWO PRINCE-PRINCESSES— A COMMON AFFLICTION IN THEIR COUNTRY, BUT ALAS, THESE DARLING TWINS COULD NOT LEGALLY MARRY, AND SO THE ROYAL LINE WOULD BE BROKEN. WITH TEARS IN HER EYES, THE QUEEN REQUESTED THAT OUR KIND RINGLEADER CARE FOR THE GIRLS UNTIL THE MATTER OF ASCENDANCY WAS RESOLVED.
QUITE CONTRARY TO THEIR ROYAL BLOOD, THESE TWIN PRINCESSES ARE OF PLAYFUL DEMEANORS, FULL OF LIVELINESS AND CHEER. THEY ALSO PRACTICE A PECULIAR KIRIBATIAN ART— A SIGHT TO BE SEEN! THE TWO SISTERS TWINE THEIR BODIES AND ASSUME POSES AND POSTURES THE LIKES OF WHICH YOU OR I COULD NEVER ASPIRE TO.
they twined and twirled, all the time. coaxed the flexed and separated their indifferences till finally everything burst to the breaking point— and they were left broken and bleeding on the edge of inside each other,
everything was there, between their sheets and between their separate skins.
when one moved, she moved the other with the resonance along their red tightrope finger thread. when one dreamt, the other slept the same.
in times of bare broken feet and bruised hearts, they held one another, each content in their sweet deference.
of this, of the boundless unity between them stretching on and on like the stars, every one the same and every one mirrored across the world’s skies, of the truth without measure that passed beneath their synchronized breath, of this she was sure.
of this she was sure they were one and the same, one and alone in themselves.
and she loved, and she loved, and she loved
and she knew her heart
and knew her body
when the sweat, the soiled sweet, the clandestine crave of everything perfect came to collapse, the dark eyed sister curled her joints on the dirty mattress of traincar number four, veiled by a curtain with lockjaw ajar. it wasn’t right and that’s why it was.
for the simple meaning of being unrelated
for the secret meaning of being under-rated
to be nothing for once
for everything more.
spineshock reverb and carpet burned knees. wood floor splinters, varnish stains, carnival handprints, dried white paint. sideshow posters, the fingers at her throat, his meaningless words. incongruous and despicable, it slathered a smile across her forcefed features and left her— trembling, open, and all awry— on her loathesome back, witholding her calls for a quieter say.
the world outside that one misstep among millions of opportunities was all ears to a wall of mouths that were whispering murmuring sighing devouring moaning screaming names that weren’t her own in a voice that wasn’t theirs.
in a voice that could have been hers, but fell apart at the seams with every unseemly shove past the hem.
it turned her head raw
and bleeding from the ears
and she remembered summer skies
shared hand in hand, eyes upturned
senses shared and severed.
in the morning, for the morning. she was unbecoming.
she was unrelenting.
the cum stained mattress replaced by the familiar own, the stench of wartorn bodies and the stink of acrid sweat replaced by the sweet, quiet delicates of two sisters who loved each other very, very much.
dark eyed twin and bright eyed innocence lounged languid where nothing could be wrong and nothing could be faked. she fated no words because there was no place— because one experience gained two vouyeurs and she was all aware that her never wrong half was none the wiser.
that one -
the virgin to the crimes
lied awake until she wasn’t.
until she was in a gold net, filled with cutlery, needles, cups and saucers, diatribes handwritten and embroidered in skin, scissors, gears of machinery, coalmine accoutrements and heirloom garbage.
she felt the other as she spilled across the floor, one and many among all the parts that once had made her whole. it all came tumbling across the attic stage, a sickbed composite mess of what had once been half a person.
the pieces came with her body. snakes and ladders, dimes and pennies, chess pieces, needles threaded through her spine and knives through her palms, pearly and opalescent with obscenity in the spotlight.
the crowd loomed up in the tiers and tiers of stares. behind the white sheet furniture covers the performers hid their backstage namelessness.
they were waiting for the struggle they paid to see,
and she was all limbs, scratching across the floorboards, weaving between the forest of spools and spinnets and needle monoliths until her nailbeds ran bare.
they counterbalanced their negative weight in the shadow of the spotted sun— heavy with the dew lacing their lashes and running down their cheeks. arms straight, shoulders squared, knees locked,
and every shudder
from every tier
of every uniform faceless
cemented her unreality and siphoned their spoils
leaving one panting to realize that
only one was fargone alive.
she’s asleep, asleep, oh so far asleep.
it was a special show
for a special price
and a special sort of entertainment
a one sided balancing scale, broken and rebuffed, shimmering in an empty room with its other half strewn across the floor
and when she opened, when she breathed her body apart, shimmering and wet with silence, a silly song crashed from the orchestra pit. it was out of sync, off key, and they glared at the inside of their masks as if forcing her muscles to move those of another.
the wall of mouths grew louder with every in and out,
dip and dive, splash and splatter,
every hole burrowed and every
center of being
of this, of their simple truth together, she was certain as stitches.
left to pieces in the back of a freakshow caravan, she gave a final fleeting three second breath support encore for the private eyes of those gaping carnival eyesockets.