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Maria

They say I’m different
I’m not Mister, but Madam
Yet how different am I really?
This metaphor pans back mythical galores to that

Of Eve and Adam.
That delicious forbidden fruit
Delicious… cause forbidden
That sinful bite
That sinful taste to Truth
Would lead to imprisonment
in her own garden

In another garden lies the great Circe
My eccentric grandma with her pharmacy
Her cauldron and blood-veined roots
Tendrils of ambrosia, gift of Odysseus’ youth
Drugs and Moly
Oh a great folly!!
She ain’t a pharmacist
She’s just a witch
And we all know what happens to witches.

Which, What, How, Why?— Fundamental Units of a philosopher’s high
Obsession of my mother Hypatia
Like her, I do not have Y-chromosomes
And when you do not have Y-chromosomes, hark here
You utter not, “Why?”
You just
Nod

My big sister Lovelace-Byron’s alchemical daughter
Her poetry woven as math her rhythm danced as algorithm
Her tutor de Morgan, oh that esteemed de Morgan!
Did not think her mind and physical application
Could carry binary burden
From the meek meadow of a woman’s body.

These men of science around me
Break through a dichotomy
The dichotomy of Superstition
And Reason
But I have a Womb
I exist only in the dichotomy of a Male’s gaze
I can either be Virgin Marie Or Maria of Magdalena
I am neither.

I’m Marie Sklodowska Curie
One-third of the Furies
I have one lab coat, dark that i wear to my laboratory
One shot to a seat in the room of scientific history
I make a mark twice
But only as my husband’s wife

I sit here in Solvay to each’s irk
They say I’m different
And maybe they are right
They won’t have to DIE in the pyre of the power that they ignite
I
Rest in Radiance
Alight
Like that Physicist of Salem.

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