Jennifer K. Sweeney

The Twin

To be doubled
as in greater than


I + I


zygote pair
self swimming the pool of self


or is it halved
as a cleaved grapefruit?


In school, you write him
as your brother,
this lost other
who drank sap with you
in the early dark.


Little Gemini: friend.


Who knows what we are made of?
She of he, I of you
viscous   gloss   confluence
see-through bodies at the rim of time.


To have felt death before sun or word
slippage of the heart-strum,
unbraiding boy.


When the cord was tied
like a slipknot on your belly,
you were both then


dark messenger                 gold bread.


You had been with him and made each other
you already knew   witness   leave   give
and yet, sister—
you came like a searchlight.



“The Twin” is from How to Live on Bread and Music (Perugia Press, 2009).