It’s in my throat now, the fact of our people.
Two generations back, there were twins,

a boy and a girl. Two who, among many,
made my beloved condition hereditary.

The woman’s name was Doris. They owned
a gas station, which I imagine on a corner–

never in the middle of a street. I imagine her
with her sleeves rolled up, I imagine him dirty.

I imagine him mean with fumes, her tender
and tired. Then, it was called a filling station;

a place where motorists came, curbside
and desperate. Little did they know

that their kin, decades later, would come
to own another place where people rested,

in between roads. What I mean to say is,
I come from a line of people in service

of something–petroleum, linen napkins,
a glass of red, motor oil, radicchio.

But even more than that: my people come
in pairs. To be at rest is to be in a room with

someone else; quiet, or not, talking, or not,
but always a body in relation to another body.

I think of how Jupiter has 92 moons: you see,
it’s about pull. My sister: she may not be here,

now, but she’s at my waist, the pull of her.
It’s a thirst, a tow. In the family Bible,

Doris’s name is listed, and then it says,
in parentheses, twin of Andrew. Even after

she has lived a life, and been gone: the pull
of her brother at her remembered waist.



Lindsay Stewart