Rachel O'Neill

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Early growth

At her party the boy runs best with the hard-boiled egg. During
the obstacle course she meets him at the bird feeder on top of
which raisins are scattered. ‘I’m a bird,’ she nibbles and the boy
really does bob and nod. Later he says, ‘we’re twins, and I can
telepathically read the thoughts in your head,’ at which point she
makes a dent in his leg. It’s spring. Sometimes she hears an animal
cry as it comes out of its tent, or what’s it called? The uterus. It’s
taken from its mother and put on the teat. After the birthday cake
the kids run around, they bleat, skitter and find their feet. They
start to count the exposed growth rings on a tree stump, loops as
fine as hairs. One father keeps calling these the inseparable years.

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