The photographs of our childhood
sit crooked in their frames like baby teeth.

On holidays, or dinner parties, or when the plumber comes
to fix the sink, it’s every guest’s favorite party game: to see

if they can tell the difference. Our matching
bobby socks and floral dresses are always a hit.

friends girls city buildings adventure
Photo courtesy of Natalie Chyi

You looked exactly the same,
they say. Identical. What pretty little girls.

When a contestant guesses wrong
the game is over

and the kitchen becomes
an interrogation room:

Which of you is The Evil One?
If I pinch you, will your sister feel it?

Years ago, when asked
if we liked being twins, we’d glance up at mom

passed her thick, permed bangs for reassurance.
We’d answer in unison: Yes.

It wasn’t until a trip to the dentist in first grade
that I sat sterile and separate from my sister,

forceps holding my mouth open so wide
I couldn’t make a sound, while a man in a white coat,

face hidden beneath a surgical mask,
shoved two gloved hands inside my head.

After clearing his throat, the way a judge
prepares to declare a guilty verdict, he said,

this one is perfect, pointing to my sister,
but this one

has a few holes to fill.




Kayla WheelerKayla Wheeler is a New England-based writer and performer. She is a two-time NorthBEAST Underground Team Slam Champion and represented New Hampshire at the 2013 National Poetry Slam. Her work has appeared in The BohemythDrunk in a Midnight ChoirThe Legendary, and is forthcoming in the anthologies We Will Be Shelter (Write Bloody Publishing) and Again I Wait for This to Pull Apart (FreezeRay Press). Follow her @KaylaSlashHope


Natalie Chyi is an 18-year-old from Hong Kong who has recently moved to London, where she will be studying law for the next three years. She started photography to capture moments and pretty things/people/light/scenes as she sees them, and that idea is what continues to fuel all of her work. Find more of her work on, Facebook, or Tumblr.

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