Kim Roberts


Chang and Eng shared a liver.  		
		                    For eight years, they toured America and England performing 
acrobatics (although denied entry to France: officials feared their malady would spread to pregnant 
               In America, they always appeared with the image of an eagle and the motto, Union and 
Liberty, one and inseparable, now and forever.    Like two states in a united nation.   Like their 
home state, North Carolina, 
                                                 where they retired at 28, became farmers, married sisters, and between 
them sired 21 children. 	    
		        Emerson once wrote that life cannot be divided or doubled.  Any invasion 
of its unity would be chaos.  The soul is not twin-born, but the only begotten... 
	                                                                                                                         I wonder how they 
taught themselves that delicate dance: when to fuse, when to be separate, how to make their own 
              The newspapers wrote that Eng died of fright, waking next to his dead brother in the dark.  
But really Chang died from a cerebral clot, and when blood pooled in his body, Eng bled to death.    
The body is a mysterious housing: it brings us pleasure, fails us daily, encloses a fragile sense of self.   
It is where we live.  And when we die, our other half goes too.  

Kim Roberts is the author of two books of poems, The Kimnama and The Wishbone Galaxy. She edits Beltway Poetry Quarterly , which publishes authors from the greater Washington, DC region. Kim was raised in a family of people with disabilities, including a hearing-impaired mother and a blind grandfather. Her website: .