112 THE MISSOURI REVIEW • SPRING 2020III.
Unlikely from the start: our friendshipin a night course where I felt a fraud,teaching adults as old as my mother.
You with the cornflower-blue eyes, silkblouses, Chanel blush, and cat-eye glasses,classing up the class. My ugly orthopedicshoes and brace. Both of us learning to actfrom half-wrecked bodies: my accidenta small occasion beside your catastrophe,paralysis, metal chair. In your essays,I learned of the reckless man who sped,flipped his car, the chassis’s shear of yourthoracic spine, a tailpipe’s tattoo of yourlong leg. How Dr. Fischer visited, daily,as you recovered. I learned, too, of yourpenchant for opera and Creole cooking,Melville and Eliot. And of your technicaljob, the spellbind that is mitosis: daughtercells twinned in chromosomes, circumstance.Ballet of mirror neurons. After the last class,I walked to your car while snow squalled lowover the sullied city, Prufrock’s retreats. Soon,I was sidekick and kid sister. Two solitudesopened to the field and furrow in each other.