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Centripetal Force

“Morning radar shows eye over water, with biological returns, probably birds, inside.”
—Jeff Last, meteorologist, on detecting birds caught within Hurricane Matthew

Her body finds mine, pit of night, no hour
belonging to her orbiting fever-dreams running
away, running towards, into the familiar
cove of shoulder, arm, breast, down blanket up
and over us both like a sudden, deep wave.

She says—We’ll all be living under a bubble in 50 years.
She begs—Why can’t we just eat the air and do no harm?

The weekend’s storm is over.
Thunder spent, lightning played out,
he comes into the bed, too, for the other side,
bodies flanking like not-quite uprooted trees,
nightmares loosing heat in my arms.

He mumbles—Did you know every 5 seconds someone is born and someone has died?
He assures—From space we must look like fireflies.

His cropped hair has grown out enough
to swirl away from sweaty temples.
Her face returns to the upturned hope of a newborn.
Round breaths lengthen their spines.
They are always taking the long, unburdened,
dreamed-of ways home.


Kristin Berger is the author of the poetry collection How Light Reaches Us (Aldrich Press, 2016) and a poetry chapbook, For the Willing (Finishing Line Press, 2008). Kristin lives in Portland, Oregon, where she co-hosts a summer poetry series at the Lents International Farmer’s Market. More info at www.kristinberger.me.