Life Sentence

by Tom Bajoras

Twenty years in a cage,
with an ape, my twin, until it died.
My widowed mother told me about how she
crept into our cage on a moonless night
and discovered one of us sobbing in his sleep
and singing the words that he was dreaming.
And then she started to tell me that
in the morning his big blue eyes were
wide and full of love,
but she coughed and changed the subject
to the weather or sports—
I don’t remember which.