Dienstag, 24. Juni 2008


A Letter from Marie Curie

The girl dying in New Jersey

barely glances at the foreign words

but she likes the stamp.

It is a kind of pale blue

she hasn’t seen much of.

The lawyer who brought the letter

talks of a famous scientist

who found the magic ingredient

that made the clockfaces she painted

shine in the dark. He doesn’t say

that each lick of the brush

took a little more radium

into her bones, that in

sixteen hundred years

if anything remained of her

it would still be half as radioactive

as the girl is now,

thumbing through the atlas

she asked her sister to borrow.

He explains that Marie Curie

is anaemic too, but the girl

isn’t listening. She found France;

it’s not so big. The lawyer shrugs:

She says to eat plenty of raw calves’ liver.

- Lavinia Greenlaw -

“Nachtaufnahmen” page.10

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