Sister Chromatids

For Daisy

You remember all those women in the grocery store,

stopping our mother,

hands on knees, asking,

“Are they twins?”

You remember how the answer was


how this happened so often,

the answer became


You were purple

I was pink

If I had bangs, so did you

If you got a camera for Christmas, so did I.

Easters were identical dresses.

Back-to-schools were matching shoes.

On your eighth birthday,

Our ears were pierced

In my sleep, I lost an earring

You wear yours every day.

A shared bedroom, two sides, two beds,

one purple, one pink.


was the last class we had together

out of Legos,

we captured DNA replication

Our helicase was a dinosaur figurine.

Out of pipe cleaners,

we captured mitosis,

cell division

Our prophase was the day

you set books aside and I

stacked them to my half of the ceiling.

Our metaphase was the week

we moved into different rooms, across the hall,

one purple, one yellow.

Our anaphase was each year after:

The time you broke your arm

on the trampoline

I still hear your bones snapping.

The time you experimented with

eyeshadow, lip gloss, blush

while I explored the

color black.

The time I saw the dead;

you attended the school dance.

Our telophase is today,

every day after:

When you graduate high school,

when I save a life,

when you start college,

when I become an alum,

when you get married,

when I move across the state,

when you have your first kid,

when I can’t make it home for Christmas.


you never liked that class,

packets, book chapters, stuff about evolution.

But you remember

Sister chromatids:

we were

replicated to be separated.

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