Marie Curie’s Notebooks Are Still Radioactive

Maybe it’s an eternal way of saying Keep Out!
Hasn’t she already given us enough?

In Florence, Galileo’s middle finger remains
under glass. I admire the pluck. His. And those curators.
Especially if they aimed it toward the Vatican.

All this reminds me of the guy who designed
the Pringles can. His ashes were buried in one.

Sometimes the weirdest things make the most
sense. Like how Alaska can be the westernmost
and easternmost state at the same time.

Perhaps that was predicted in Madame Curie’s notebooks.

They say sloths are the only mammals that don’t fart.
Well, if they’re so “lazy” … they may not have the energy.

In Switzerland Article 13 makes it illegal to own
one guinea pig. Saving social species from loneliness.

Recently, Galileo’s middle finger was joined
by his index finger, thumb, and one tooth.
Proof that Italians share a similar compassion.

Not unlike Australians, who assigned trees email
addresses so residents could report drought damage.
Instead, they sent love letters.

Bet there are some of those hidden in the pages
of Marie Curie’s notebooks.





Michael Montlack is author of two poetry collections and editor of the Lambda Finalist essay anthology My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them (University of Wisconsin Press). His work recently appeared in Poetry Daily, Prairie Schooner, Barrelhouse, Poet Lore, and Cincinnati Review. He lives in New York, where he teaches poetry at CUNY City College.