after Gwendolyn Brooks
My polonium, your magnetism. My governess, my garret; your Rue Cuvier,
your aromatic woods. Me: the stilled flickering stars; you: feverish heat; us:
opposite of stilted, a French-windowed Fontainebleau, tourmaline and topaz,
main-squeezing quartz, or let’s math it: tight quarters equal high-frequency vibrations.
We vowed in lovely blue with bicycles, with heather and gorse,
returned to the lab, to X, and the loves kept coming—the unborn/unknown
balancing the known. My constant current, your unchangeable. My pitchblende,
my nameless, our 1/10-gram proof; your tumults, our intermingled script.
What gleaming! What fission! What detonation (your/my prize). Anemia,
hysteria, sexual decline: the things we Curies would cure! Marriages that strain breath,
burn skin, glow with flowering failure. Chain reaction of aches.
Martha Silano is the author of four books of poetry, including The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, chosen by Campbell McGrath as the winner of the 2010 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize and Reckless Lovely (Saturnalia Books 2014). She also co-edited, with Kelli Russell Agodon, The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice (Two Sylvias Press 2013). Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines and journals, including Paris Review, Poetry, Orion, American Poetry Review, and North American Review, where she received the 2014 James Hearst Poetry Prize, as well as in many anthologies, including American Poetry: The Next Generation and The Best American Poetry 2009. Martha serves as poetry editor of Crab Creek Review, curates Beacon Bards, a Seattle-based reading series, and teaches at Bellevue College.
Leslie LaChance edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration, has curated The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications and written poetry reviews for Stirring: A Literary Collection. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, and her chapbook, How She Got That Way, was published in the quartet volume Mend & Hone by Toadlily Press in 2013. She teaches literature and writing at Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee, and if she is not teaching, writing, or editing, she has probably just gone to make some more espresso.