Space, like time, is psychological
as well as physical
—Laleh and Ledan Bijani, 29-year-old Iranian twins
joined at the head, died in Singapore July 8, 2003
during surgery to separate them.
In the forest of my friend’s backyard,
I ponder the space between trees—
openings where shadows mix with light.
Space defines us,
to be who we are.
It is the space we must
water and nurture
before we embrace another.
Joined at the head, the sisters
wanted a chance to know
They risked it all for a dream,
the desire for a separate garden,
a parcel of air between them.
If you and I should join together,
I hope we will remember
the Persian twins who died for space.
Shirley J. Brewer graduated from careers in bartending, palm-reading and speech therapy. She serves as poet-in-residence at Carver Center for the Arts & Technology in Baltimore. Her poems garnish BarrowStreet, Poetry East, Slant, Gargoyle, Comstock Review, and many other journals. Shirley’s poetry chapbooks include A Little Breast Music, 2008, Passager Books, and After Words, 2013, Apprentice House. In 2017, Main Street Rag released her first full-length collection of poems, Bistro in Another Realm. Shirley was awarded the first Creativity Award for Excellence in Plorking (Play + Work) from the University of Baltimore, where she earned her Master’s degree in Creative Writing/Publishing Arts. Her definition of shame is a bare wrist.