by Eleonore Schönmaier

Elisabeth Mann Borgese, 1918-2002,
youngest daughter of Thomas Mann.
Medi was her childhood name.

all you have to do
is enter. Elisabeth
had no locks

on her doors.
What are you afraid
of: the seven

dogs who drool
and stare
at you when you step

inside or the old
human being, you
in the future, sitting

alone with abandoned
ideas on the sofa?
Elisabeth with her dream for oceanic

peace was the only woman
founder of the Club
of Rome: this is what you’ll find

when you enter the Roma gates:
a fragment of Shelley’s jaw bone
inside an alabaster

urn, salvaged from the beach
pyre. Elisabeth’s law of the sea
students also studied

the body: preserved in a jar
in the anatomy museum: the uterus
like a sea creature swimming

in liquid. There’s still so much
we don’t know: where do the blue whales
calve? Elisabeth in her Atlantic

living room acted without fear. If you accidently
stumbled in she would offer you a glass
of gin. Elisabeth knew the danger of closed door

debate. She fled
Germany, and when she was safe her father
wrote in his journal: I walked arm

in arm with Medi
once more. Her mathematician
grandfather also escaped, but into

a short-lived
future. Mathematicians now solve
proofs using blog

as journal with multiple
authors. Laws
are what we need when we’re secretive

in the labs
holding keys in our hands
searching for the best

answers. Perhaps the old woman
fishing at dawn for dinner in her small wooden boat
knows where the blue whales give birth.