Kyle Laws’ poems, stories, and essays have appeared in magazines for thirty years, with four nominations for a Pushcart Prize. Collections include My Visions Are As Real As Your Movies, Joan of Arc Says to Rudolph Valentino (dancing girl press), George Sand’s Haiti (co-winner of Poetry West’s 2013 award), Storm Inside the Walls (little books press), Going into Exile (Abbey Chapbooks), Tango (Kings Estate Press), and Apricot Wounds Straddling the Sky (Poetry Motel’s Suburban Wilderness Press).  She edited two volumes for the Pueblo Poetry Project—From the Garret on Grand: On Miss Lonelyhearts and the Virgin of Guadalupe and Midnight Train to Dodge. She currently is editor of Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press.  


On Libations: “The Shamrock Bar in Pueblo, CO brews a coffee flavored beer. Sundays with friends in the old wooden booths, pairing the hearty stout with an omelet, can't be beat.”



Kyle Laws

MARIE CURIE AND TEA: A MIRROR OF SOUL,

AN OPERA OF THE ATOMIC BOMB, OR SO

SHE THINKS, OUTSIDE LOS ALAMOS



It was what I feared most in high school,

becoming Madame Curie, holed up in a shed

in winter without heat, only emissions of what

I carried in my pockets to keep me warm.   


When I was selected to take a Yale University

exam after the work done in my first algebra class,

I just didn’t show up. My teacher was frustrated,

threw up his hands, and it was at this point


I was able to fade away, not become a bright

mathematical star in a sky where being a cheer-

leader or majorette was what girls wanted.

I tried both, but was ill-prepared, not knowing


I didn’t want that either. I carried fears for

40 years, afraid to stand very long in front

of a microwave, until high in the desert

outside Los Alamos, it caught up with me.


I looked around seated in the 4th row, D, 

at an opera, to see if anyone heard what

I heard, saw what I saw, where even tea had

the properties in pitchblende, remembering


some of Marie’s papers cannot be handled

without a protective suit, and her cookbook

remains radioactive.