M A D A M E C U R I E
Sweet scourge! I am done with this dark room.
Each day I record the cold in a notebook:
forty-degrees always followed by enough
punctuation to detail my disgust.
Pitchblende ore! I said and the stone
set itself aglow. The silver miners
from Erzegebirge tipped their hats and bowed
to one another but never to me.
Marya Salomee: my name that Pierre
could not pronounce. Marie was French
and to his liking. The husband split
under the wheel of a wooden wagon.
O isolation! The stone and I
are alone like lovers, one named 84
the other 88, both young and difficult
lit and spry with friction, heat.
Primitive garret! My bones are cold.
We’ll start with a measure of radium pulsed
one-tenth of a gram, one-tenth of the worth,
test tubes gleaming their lagoon-green light.
W H Y I ' V E C O M E T H I S F A R
Because I don’t want to hide there
wrapped in old root, against light.
Because last night was a mackerel sky
and up north it was the tremors of leaf
or skin, straw slats and jars of jam and honey
that made me think: we are complicated,
we are vincible. Because this is the web
I weave around myself, shopkeeper
of a thousand books, most of which
remain illegible: a star I had to prune.
The tree we planted four months ago turns copper.
Knotted bark and red rain break a fall and there is
Nothing I can prevent.
A U T O B I O G R A P H Y O F F E V E R
Glass cane berry
bright with pyre
burning at your lips.
Under you, the bed
is silken chill
and dispossession --
heat for the most ill
of elk, my slacken lost
rove of soundlessness.
You hold silver
on your tongue,
heavy with temperature.
I want you tropical
dewed in morning
rising up like opera,
seasick in swelter
I want to be the thing
you blot away
Amber Galeo is a writer and educator based in Brooklyn, New York. She received an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University, where she received the Academy of American Poets Ruth Bennett Prize in Poetry and a Philip Guston Fellowship. She also holds an MA in Human Rights from Columbia University, and her work has been featured in The Missouri Review and N.O.W. She is currently an editor at sherights.com and can be found at ambergaleo.com.