List Poem-Essay for A.
1. Remember when I was Bertha and you were Grace Poole and how we couldn't stop laughing for years, me mad in the attic like that?
2. Remember us Jane Eyre all that time, our little orphan souls, those dolls? Those monkeys.
3. It's been twenty years. What have we learned?
4. The look on your face when loud people cornered me in bars in Kansas and told me "smile." Your look at my look. Your chortle.
5. This is my second poem in which you chortle.
6. In Providence, we put ourselves at the kitchen table with acrylic paints, like kids of ourselves. I painted a cosmic egg on the back of a cardboard timeline you'd made of nineteenth-century novels and concurrent events for your comprehensive exams.
7. There's our poem right there.
8. You sitting in a heap of books outside Schultz's office, wearing tights and a black checked jumper dress. Your hair was always slightly fuzzy in college, which made you seem worth knowing.
9. You once told me it didn't matter if I forgot what I read because I'd already integrated it. Can I give up knowing things for 40? I'm tired of "knowing."
10. Cosmic egg.