Carole Coates


One child has a twin
locked in her body.
While she grows, it remains
unformed, embedded -
a feather or two of bone
seeded in the flesh,
a wisp of hair, a shadow
of vertebrae, curving nowhere,
even a tooth in the uterus -
her rag and bone sister
who calls out in dreams.

My own twin
is less diffused –
a clenched fist of a ghost
made flesh in my flesh
in a cold indwelling
lasting decades. And noisy.
Even now, among leached bones,
loosening flesh, she keeps on.
( I know her eyes are hard
and blue and round as millstones. )
She keeps on. “Starve,” she says,
“Starve. You fool.”

Carole Coates

published in Looking Good, Shoestring Press, 2009.

© 2009 Carole Coates

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Last updated 20 June 2016