The Marie Curie Sequence | Michelle Reale

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Michelle Reale is an Associate Professor at Arcadia University. She holds an MFA in poetry and is the author of  five poetry collections. In 2018 Cervena Barva Press will release Confini: Poems of Refugees in Sicily. She has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She maintains a website of writerly things at





The many rooms belong to us; we closely scan exceptions to universal law, adjust accordingly.  What will we write on these walls?  If your path is one covered with dirt, follow it like a disciple, then wipe your feet before you enter your own home.  If it is ice, prepare for betrayal.  The aqueous vapor that fills the room you pace in is like a blessing; a baptism.  In the ballroom we dance.  My blue organza hem touches the top of your unpolished shoes. This is so real, all low burning flame, but heat nonetheless.  Our coffee cups, delicate things, hold swill gone cold.  Artificial sweetener snakes its way back and forth between our connected umbilicus and we feed off of the residual affects, but won’t really feel them for years. The rooms will hold us, but the walls are no longer ours. Critical instincts intuit this early, but such gifts are rare for me.  And you?  I have a hypothesis: you will deflect lateral debris. Then, together or alone, we thicken at a common root.