114 THE MISSOURI REVIEW • SPRING 2020V.
At your table, a slow rotation suggestingpermanence. By day, the dining roomserved as an atelier where I proddedand patched sentences, anchored at drysalvages. By night, the apartment turnedsalon of scientists, poets, unlonely widows,an Olympic gymnast, a wry phlebotomist,a felon. After tiring days at the lab, youalchemized a perfect evening, convertingordinary time into occasion, the plannedluck of good company. Girlish, we hungglass baubles from the chandelier, satDr. Fischer’s ashy cigar by the window,leavened the politics with poems, longworkdays with wine. I laughed, there,in spite of myself. Dared to kiss yourregal forehead. Served as line chef,steering clear of your stovetop’s merryburble. When we were alone, floppedin bed or driving through the city,listening to Aida or La Sonnambula,I felt cherished as comrade, confidante,chérie. In our evident brokenness, love’stacit fabric wove between us, incarnate.