in the imagined voice of Mileva Marić Einstein*
by Catherine Arra
His trajectory would span time itself.
His magnetic field, his center of gravity—givens,
a blueprint demanding architects, builders,
fans, financiers, and sacrifice.
He siphoned people into himself, a whirlpool,
or pulled them along in his wake.
Irresistible. His vision unrelenting.
His poetry and light inescapable. All were helpless
against their love, hate, or awe of him.
Each in kind—family,
colleagues, lovers—would become fuel, lift, velocity,
his coterie in collusions, betrayals, all that was necessary
to complete the arc of his life.
It was non-negotiable. No one bargains with God.
I knew his mind, merged and mated with it.
I loved the man too, his boyish frailty,
his appetites and sensuality,
the padding softness of his footfall,
the rhythms of his breathing, his smell.
The way he beckoned me, come.
I was his wife. I am Mileva.
* * * * *
*Mileva Marić Einstein was a visionary mathematician and scientist in her own right. There is evidence to indicate that she was instrumental, and perhaps a collaborator, in the scientific papers that comprised Einstein’s Annus Mirabilis, or Miracle Year, of epoch-making theories that redefined the mechanics of the universe and laid the path to his fame. Mileva and Albert married in 1903, after the birth and loss of an illegitimate daughter, Lieserl. They later had two sons, Hans Albert and Eduard. They separated in 1914, and officially divorced in 1919.
"Mileva" is part of the forthcoming poetry collection Her Landscape: Poems Based on the Life of Mileva Marić Einstein (Finishing Line Press 2020).
Catherine Arra is the author of (Women in Parentheses) (Kelsay Books, 2019), Writing in the Ether (Dos Madres Press, 2018), and three chapbooks. Her poetry and prose have appeared in numerous journals online and in print, and in several anthologies. Forthcoming in 2020 from Finishing Line Press is a new chapbook, Her Landscape, Poems Based on the Life of Mileva Marić Einstein. Arra is a native of the Hudson Valley in upstate New York, where she teaches part-time and facilitates local writing groups. Find her at www.catherinearra.com.