118 THE MISSOURI REVIEW • SPRING 2020IX.
Summer of young unarmed Michael Brown,summer of massacre. Summer another whiteman reckless with car and gun left a bodylike offal, spread-eagled on asphalt, hot roadpressed against his unbearded face as he bledfrom six wounds and a three-fifths clause.
What is ratified in acts of Missouri Compromiseand expedience: that old logic of “nicety” in tidygated streets of Clayton, Frontenac, and Ladue,where feudal sacrifice of someone else’s childis a week of headline news, and county officersexact salary and pension from carceral zip codes.
We watched the city dehisce along its veteranscars; we drove in the heat to the little groceryin Florissant where you found work, after youraccident, and learned to guide your chair downaisles before returning to your lab’s chemicalvials. Ferguson, where folks often offeredto help you, and East Saint Louis, gangrenedin poverty, quarantined by highway and high-rise, where you bought supplies, cheap leadsand catheters. We grieved as Brown was killedin the street and again, in the news; we gatheredand mourned how it is we wound and wound.