The first time I saw her I thought she was maybe even almost beautiful. On paper, I called her lion. With words, her name was almost exactly like mine.

Dread mane hair. Like Bob Marley and like getting stoned in tight jeans, no boobs, and strong arms. Her.

I was terrified at first. I strove for a lion smile. A lion growl of power acceptance.

I donÕt bruise easily. And my arms are dapple gray since IÕve known her.

Even now.

In the fancy harbor castle hotel we sit in the bathroom. Same size jean twins sitting on the counter in fluorescent lighting. Sucking compliment candy licorice mints through almost mirror image lips. Talking about how much we look alike.

Discount store shopping bags. Two-dollar joke thongs and neon suspenders. She wants to sew lace onto her pants, the way I do on mine.

A Stellastarr* t-shirt, lace, veggie burgers, a sobbing hug, burnt CDs, French fries, tea, and matching pipes.

SheÕs leaving for down under.

In her round about house. There are paintings her godfather has done, of her and her brother looking like two babies of different races. Blinking slowly in the willow shade. Photographs and sketches by her father, in her parents bedroom. Her motherÕs body. Muscle sinew, arms, back, she moves. Art show openings pasted onto cupboards, the laundry floats. Feet touch Italian tiles. Seashell counters. Neil Young sings, a pair of ceramic legs sprout herbs, and an earring tree waves in the lake breeze.

IÕve never met a soul mate place like this before. I feel euphorically ridiculous; I should have lived here my entire life.