Lali Singh City l,
I read this on the machine today:
Here is a Light City, several kilometers North of New Delhi. Here it has been seared a new name, Lali Singh City, what with the birth of the two-faced child.
In a video narrated by an elegant British voice, Lali Singh spurted two-faced from the womb. She (they) is a single skull containing: four eyes, two mouths, two noses, two sets of lips. In the center of the child’s face, aligning the two displays of features, a bulbous mass resembles the taut button seared upon a bloated stomach. Right there, the child’s doubloon face.
The lugubrious voice announces the child bears a condition that existed long before the recent instances of malformed twinning:
But in this case, the doctors have not done to Lali Singh’s face what they would do, for instance, to such infants in the West. For instance, what they did to our Tess: suturing her apart, tearing off the part they pronounced poisoned. What have they done with the other half of our child? What they might have done, Robert, to you and me.
Robert, do you remember that day when we were ten or so and just home alone from school and looked at ourselves in the mirror and pressed together the sides of our heads—those symmetrical sets of fish lips—made them hum, made them kiss?
But Lali Singh was not instantaneously lassoed into healthy normalcy. No, the child was left how they were, sent home in the arms of their parents.
Upon receiving the child, the residents of Lali Singh City glommed beneath the sun in exaltation. To them, such doubleness was holy.
Chants were taken up to solder the mirrored child, to honor the child to that which was beyond. This is a Light City. There was some sun-particle swathing Lali’s many-colored fabrics, Lali laid out in the sun, beside her mother, resting in a hooded space nearby.
The British voice through the machine says no child with this condition—diprosopus—has ever survived more than several hours.
Lali Singh’s mother rests her insides, hugs her palms to her abdomen-ebb, nods to the songs of her neighbors.
There is praise. There is fresh fruit.