Erin Wilson

Centripetal Force and a Lull in the Stratosphere

Woman with Demon by Andrew Stevovich

I looked up and found myself inside of it.

But how astonishing.

I would never have known which door to take to enter it.

It was halfway over before I realized, my eyes big on my hands,
on my own two hands,
my senses swollen as though by bees,
my mind convinced of abnormalities come alive as though I’d been slipped LSD.

It lasted long enough for me to peruse the convenience store shelves
for canned potatoes and mushrooms, locate them, dusty, in strange places
(separate aisles), the potatoes next to the ludicrous event of canned beets.

Canned beets! For crying out loud, who could have imagined!

I could smell the old floor. The walls drew nearer.
This was my convenience store. This was my life.

Somehow I had caught up with it!

I stood inside of it with a delighted nervous vertigo, oddly at home.

Even later still, at home at the stove-top, the venison sausage sputtering,
spitting its juices, the cans canted, the vegetables singeing to a crisp
convincing and true, I drank a beer, a cold one, and I’ll be damned
my feet weren’t barefoot on the kitchen floor in full contact.

My hand handled the spatula!

I was planted through a thread in my head by the rank aroma
and cleansed with the cloth that passed by me as a breeze
carrying the kitchen window’s simulacrum of garden growing waist-deep cilantro.

Everything was right.

I had impostured myself for forty-odd years and finally,
for a moment, found myself directly inside of my life.


About the writer:
Erin Wilson has contributed poems to San Pedro River Review, Up the Staircase Quarterly, New Madrid, Tipton Poetry Journal, and Mobius, The Journal of Social Change, among others, with work forthcoming from West Texas Literary Review and Split Rock Review. She lives and writes in a small town in northern Ontario.

Image: Woman with Demon by Andrew Stevovich. Oil on linen. 6 x 6 inches. 1992. By free license.