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Centrifugal Force

By Megan Nichols

Growing up, I’d hold in my elbows and try to center myself like slop clay on the wheel.
Firm and steady pressure works with the spinning until one has something suitable

enough to throw. Lately the cards keep suggesting fantasy so I believe in them
less and less. My tongue keeps trailing back to where my wisdom teeth were taken

and I think of other ways I’ve been hastily treated. Birth control before menstruation,
lithium before imbalance. Everything is jumbled at the Nutcracker. An angel wore crocs

on stage and the Russians all lost their mustaches. I cried when I heard their dance teacher
shout and my seven year old laughed and said we all have to learn. About Megan, Jung wrote,


“She holds fast to the vision, observing with the liveliest intent how the picture changes,

unfolds, and finally fades.” Back when I practiced power, I’d pour candle wax into water


to see what the hardened shape had to show me. I was too young to not trust in myself.

Today I tell everyone when I write “I”, I mean more. In Mission Impossible 2 viewers


panned the slow motion gazing. Watching it is like being asked to believe you’re in it

and viewing it at once. Nobody likes the underpainting or the fingerprints in the clay.


The best novels have the structures so smoothed out, writers claim divine intervention. My dad

would take me trespassing into framed up houses and through invisible walls we’d shout


what the rooms would become. When my son cries about the dark I tell him it's only sensible

to be afraid. I tell him what my father told me. You learn to see in it, the more you try.

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