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The imaging test declares her "Tumor"
my embryologic twin.
But she is my sister, with a name
she once mouthed to me in dreams.

Option: surgical removal

of my own flesh,
but why?
She's been fighting
to be born.
A full head of hair now,
and her lipless mouth sprouts
the likeness of teeth.

I show my palmwhere she blooms
to our parents who
unravel before us, fall,
fall like tinkling beads.
Here is the one I never thought
I'd hold; here she is,
her entire form.

If I must sign a waiver
for the possibility of death,
I sign not one for the knife,
but for my sister's chance at life.

On my bed, I lie down
each numbered night,
face-to-face with Sister,
for there is much to teach.
Take my voice if she must
so she may speak.

Anne Carly Abad received the Poet of the Year Award in the 2017 Nick Joaquin Literary Awards. She has also received nominations for the Pushcart Prize and the Rhysling Award. Her work has appeared in Apex, Mythic Delirium, and Strange Horizons, to name a few. Her first poetry collection, We've Been Here Before, is forthcoming this February 2022 with Aqueduct Press. You can preorder the book by emailing the publisher at
Current Issue
21 Nov 2022

As far back as I could remember, Oma warned me about the bats. She said they would eat me if they found me exposed at night. But I knew the green light of the moon would protect me, even when I was still smaller than Oma.
The truth is: / she does not have to bend into a ceramic plate to carry us beautifully, & my father / isn't the hand that will break her.
the rattle of the rails, the shuffling-muttering of hundreds of passengers nestled in the one long limb of you
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