At First Sight

“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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