Chang and Eng, by Henry “Hank” Greenspan

Hometown, ghetto, Auschwitz, Los Angeles, the whole megillah.
They sent a wonderful kid to get me and Gigi on the tape.
This girl says we’re amazing, not just Gigi and me, all the survivors,
the Holocaust survivors. I really want to help her.

I’m reading then a book, PT Barnum: America’s Biggest Showman.
PT Barnum had Siamese twins, Chang and Eng. Everybody knew them.
And the book says, this I remember exactly,
“Chang died first, to the horror of Eng, who managed, for some hours, to live on.”

I say to the girl, I say, “See? That’s it. I’m Eng. I’m Eng.”
Fifty years. I’m stuck to the corpse.
Stuck to Chang. Stuck to Chang.
He’s my corpse. And I live on.

Henry “Hank” Greenspan is a playwright, oral historian, and psychologist, Emeritus at the University of Michigan. He has been interviewing, teaching about, and writing about Holocaust survivors since the 1970s. Along with two non-fiction books and multiple scholarly articles, his essays and poetry have appeared in the Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Tablet, The Forward, Times of Israel, Light Poetry Magazine, Rat’s Ass Review, Shofar, Covid and Poetry, Gnashing Teeth Publishing, Stick Figure Literary Journal, the Boston Globe, and the Detroit Free Press. His plays have been produced for radio on NPR and at more than three hundred stage venues worldwide.

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