Beth and I were labmates in the chemistry PhD program at MIT. The program and the lab were incredibly stressful for both of us, and neither of us graduated with a PhD. However, we became very close friends while in graduate school and, in February 2019, did a ritual to recognize each other as chosen sisters. We used part of this poem in the ritual.
July 2018, in Catonsville, Maryland
In a better world, I suppose,
we would have made better choices.
we would not have ended up in Sylvia’s lab,
…but we would not have met.
We should mourn that world, I suppose,
but I cannot bring myself to do so.
but I could not be myself if I did so
…we would not have been there for each other.
In this fallen world, the gods are cruel and life is pain,
and I would not gamble what I have.
and I would not trust in a better fate
…and lose the honor of being your comrade.
And so I promise, by this earth we tread,
to stand beside you in this world.
to fight beside you as best I can,
…not in fate-doomed hope, but by love and honor bound.