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By Kyla Guimaraes

do you remember the Greek story of the two selves, 

how they became one beautiful embrace under the 

philosopher’s careful watch? 

and how you hated it, this quiet loving 

foreign in your mouth? your doubled shadow

unfamiliar with lust. you’ve always been full,

with no need for completion. your flesh your own

unencumbered and beautiful mourning. 

you almost died last week, indiscriminate sun

guttering your face until it softened, concave body

strangely pliant where it should have been strong.

in the aftermath, the sun is resurrected again. I pace

empty hallways while you sleep soundly. halves and

whole merging into a hazy picture of love. 

this is what ends us, like the boats tethered to

the wooden dock, hulls oven-hot by mid-day,

bumping gently against wood as they rock,

trying to break from routine. luke-warm algae

laps at our sides, water yellow and tired 

from years of battering sun. my boat empty.

yours full and ready to turn away. 

I watch as you leave. your two bodies 

becoming one. slowly, the sunlight folds you

into a silhouette. it says to me, like a lesson,

or maybe a prayer, in words only the dawn

overhears: this is how you find completion,

this is how you love.

Kyla Guimaraes (she/her) is a writer and student from New York City. Her work has been recognized by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and Young Poets Network, and can be found in The Penn Review, Aster Lit, and the aurora journal, among others. A poetry editor for Eucalyptus Lit, Kyla enjoys puns and watching the sunrise. 

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