The Siamese Twins
My sister is in love.
"Listen up," she says, "I'm in love—can you feel it?"
"No," I say.
"Really?" she asks.
"Nada," I say. "Nothing."
Fabuloso has rancid breath and a missing finger. The World's Greatest
Wild Animal Trainer in the Most Startling Exhibition of Daring Ever Brought
Before the Eyes of Man. Seen from the side, their first kiss was
"He dares death twice daily," my sister says. "He sees things that
would turn the blood of an ordinary man cold."
I think, he sees what he wants to see.
"You're jealous," she says.
There was a game we played when we were a little girl. It was after the
war, but barely. Our father came back, and his limp made him kinder to
us. He sat at the edge of the municipal pool, watching as we tied
bricks to our ankle with string.
Late one night she tells Fabuloso the story. He's just back from the
Bengal tiger cage. He smells like sweat and sawdust. "Listen up," she
says. "We could have died."
"Wild," says Fabuloso, sounding bored. I lean on my side of the pillow.
Fabuloso puts one hand on our leg. Outside the tent I can hear the
bird-voiced gossip of the trapeze girls; perfume slides under the door
I remember when we crashed to the bottom. The brick hit first. I
watched while she crouched at our foot, fingers working the knot. When
we broke the surface, our father would clap. It was only later I
wondered: what if she could not loosen it?
I turn away from them in bed. Exactly half of me is still there. I
think: This is loneliness. That is exactly what this
Megan Kruse has had stories in Narrative, The Sun and others. She is currently a writer in
residence at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center in Nebraska City, Nebraska.
Detail of photo on main page courtesy
of Elena Kalis.
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