In 1956, Patricia and Barbara Grimes disappeared from their home town following a screening of the Elvis Presley movie, Love Me Tender. Their bodies were found a month later, but the mystery of their murder remains unsolved.
Their bodies were cast side by side, unceremoniously tossed, stripped bare naked as foetuses tucked together in the frosted womb of the roadside.
An unwelcome discovery, the ivory girls were stumbled on by a construction worker following the tell-tale whisper of thaw and rain; neatly folded behind a guard rail that did not guard.
Barbara was an embryo lying on her left side, knees pulled up towards her chin, Her younger sister lay sprawled on her back bruised and bitten, Patricia was shrunken in the folds.
How long had they lain there, rats gnawing their toes and bare belly buttons? Three puncture wounds pierced Barbara’s chest – an abrasion for each week the girls went undiscovered.
Days before, the ex-truck driver idol of young girls called for the sisters to come home, but even the pleas of The King could not reach the death-clogged ears of two stifled and worn.
Confined to silence they lay stiff on metal slabs, their ice blankets melted and pooled around dead bodies, yellowing in the stillness.
Pubescent stomachs exposed themselves to the prying eyes of pathologists, whose steady blade drew a map from Brighton Theatre to Willow Springs, revealing half-spent popcorn, hot dogs, semen.
For sisters accustomed to the soft dulcet tones of Mississippi vocals, the quiet was endless.
The brightly lit vowels of your name danced across the room and squared with mine.
From September to July, we sat, side-by-side, trading algebraic secrets and learning the shapes of one another.
That year, I learned the accidental touch of fabric under a too-small table, the hardness of plastic chairs, the softness of your presence.
I learned the tinted embarrassment of schoolgirl silliness, a braking voice.
I learned that you, in your wholesome teenage solidness, were equal to the spliced pieces of myself.
On my left wrist, an inky black heart; It pulses grows to life like a swollen balloon, and sucks death inwards with every beat of its counterpart.
A souvenir from Spain; It bulges swells like an embryo embedded accidentally, flattens like an empty belly, a black stain on white flesh.