At First Sight

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“She was coaxing her 2-year-old twin sons to look at one another because, finally, they can….Carl and Clarence had been joined at the top of their heads until they were separated last week in a 17-hour operation.”

—Philippine Daily Inquirer

Like you, I wake up hungry
for good news with my coffee.
(This for the meantime makes us
a we.)
We scour the papers for proof
about the times we live in, that they
are more than bearable. We no longer
count our disappointments.
Then here
on the front page parade the mother
and doctors, audience of giddy adults,
around the twins in their beds.
(Some of us
have followed this story for days
and pages, nodding like distant relatives,
shadows entering the picture,
murmuring: being half of a package
is no way to live; allow us to celebrate
this separation.)

We are waiting for them,
the groggy patients, to see each other
without photographs or mirrors.

There is one brother, sitting up,
bandaged head about to turn.

There is the other, cradled
by the mother (who pushed them out once

one by one, who had always seen him
and him both.)

We step back,
and wait for the crucial moment.

Like most everything, it happens
when the train whizzes by under our feet,
when we revert to being you and I,
who have never seen eye to eye
who barely even speak the same language.

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