My mother didn’t allow her daughters to grow up. For years she kept us in braids, buckle shoes, and little girly frills. An astrologer and mystic, she was forever watching our stars and reading our luck, our palms, our dreams. She knew when we were yearning for grownup things, when the first hints of desire passed through our minds. She knew when one sister wanted to purchase brassieres, cosmetics, a clingy gown, lingerie. When another was dreaming of touching, kissing, unbuttoning her blouse. And she locked us up inside. We sisters, however, were our mother’s girls. We knew when she watched too closely, when she was leaving or walking the dog. So we conspired. When my mother was asleep at night or when she was out on the town, purchasing groceries or fabric for new clothes, we traded hands and arms, hair and legs and minds. While my mother would keep one sister at home beneath her watchful eye, another would slip out and enjoy the company of love. Sometimes one sister lived another’s dreams. The men of the town never knew which sister they loved or why. They never knew which was their wife, their girlfriend, their new bride. We sisters were always all things to all men, and we never left our mother’s side.