—in the voice of Marie Lafarge
Naming a child is a terrible fire. The wet
whisper of the wind might keep the kindling
from catching. Or, worse, it could work.
Sounds the spark that start a personality
down the path of permanence.
remains inescapable. Marie. Marina. Migraine
that split my post-partum mother open.
Marie. Marie. Not for the greenshift glow
of algae, which is delicate
as a shipwreck,
which is how women should be. For
neither shore nor sand, nor the shadows
soft and deep enough to churn from the closed
mouth of clams, a pearl—that yellow luminesce
we wear royal on our throats.
And certainly not for song—
long-drawn out muse for sailors and their sloppy
music. Marie for the chemistry of the water itself—
tolerant, totalizing. A universal solvent.
There will be no suffering in this life
I shall not
 Marie Lafarge was a French woman accused of poisoning her husband Charles by lacing his fruitcake with arsenic after he conned her into marriage under the false pretense of being a millionaire. She was the first person to be convicted of murder using forensic toxicological evidence in 1840.
Emily Paige Wilson is the author of the forthcoming full-length collection Jalubí (Unsolicited Press, 2022) and two chapbooks: Hypochondria, Least Powerful of the Greek Gods (Glass Poetry Press, 2020) and I’ll Build Us a Home (Finishing Line Press, 2018). Her work has been nominated for Best New Poets, Best of the Net, and the Pushcart Prize. Connect with her at www.emilypaigewilson.com and @Emmy_Golightly.