a twin passes life into its sibling // along a coiled telephone cord // two blood types // dual cages of genetics // holding hands in utero // not just in science // mythology loves a chimera // satyr // minotaur // faun // siren // liminal beings with duplex traits // mankind and animal burnished together // the intertextuality of a species // wiping itself against another’s blood cells // like those actors you can’t remember the names of // whose faces merge into one // or a face-blend app in which the image becomes softer // more silky // than its ancestor // you can see it in an architect’s design // the balance in the axial plan of a room // windows and dog-leaved pots // on either side of a door // or the clamp of bookends // passing DNA along their spines // a cross-pollination of plants and dogs // TomTatos and plumcots // Chuskys and Dalmachunds // you can’t escape the facsimiles // our lives photocopied // kept in storage clouds // sound coming at you in duality // a combo of symphonic earphones // aluminium cans joined with string // summer and winter // heaven and earth // two ends of a magnet // pulling and repelling each other into shape // the white shadow of a black swan // a trailer towed by a car // someone wearing what you’re wearing // while on a clothesline // socks hang // pegged together // so many things come in pairs // pockets // earrings // bedside tables // knives and forks // cups and saucers // salt and pepper // it’s in the nature of things // a poem speaking its rhyme in couplets // Shakespeare // in whose language there are constant overlaps // and always the threat of an oxymoronic quote // a tautological typo // or a mixed metaphor blurring the meaning // and what of Janus // who // like a fan at a tennis match // looks both ways // to the present and past // history // the future // a telescope // from which you can view a scene up close or far away // a pair of 3D glasses // colours blending green and red // no matter how you play the game // one is always a nought // the other a cross // a two-armed crucifix // you can’t overcome the faith inherent // in a set of praying hands // the sound of Bach in all his contrapuntal glory // or a duo of singers propped uncomfortably on stools // synched in time to each other’s tambourine breath // take a walk // and you’ll see // the carbon copy // of footpaths // traffic lights // nature strips and gutters // on either side of the road // and when it’s time to reacquaint yourself with your nemesis // button up those cufflinks // tie your hair in pigtails // and remember each primary colour has its complement // a symmetry of butterfly wings // a matching pair of antennae // and suddenly you’ll realise // how your words have been rephrased // by conjoined grammatical twins // and how an unborn baby // can send stem cells to heal its mother’s damaged organs // in a chimera of blood types

Kim Waters lives in Melbourne. She has a Master of Arts degree in creative writing from Deakin University. Her poetry has appeared in The Australian, Shanghai Review, Verge, Offset 16, Communion 5, Tincture and Antithesis.