Lieserl Contemplates Resurrection

Jennifer Givhan

Lieserl is the “illegitimate” lost daughter whom Einstein and his then-fiancé Mileva Maric gave up for adoption and who some believe died of scarlet fever in infancy, though her fate remains a mystery.

I believe in the conservation
of bird wings, in tiny packages of light

and their insistence on shining
in the resurrection of dying things.

But even if we could take the DNA
from Einstein’s white hair and clone him, implant

him in my sponge-red uterus then guard me
till I emit him screaming from between my legs

pinning hopes that now he’d finally understand
how spooky action from a distance is real

and this time around we would keep time

whether or not it existed, still, he could not grow up
into the man I need him to be—

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