Kaitlin LaMoine Martin

The First Time I Loved a Tornado

Of course she talked incessantly.
I loved the wind within her
and mistook her noise moving across
me to mean I was with her. Does chaos
have a home? Does a shipwreck
know it’s sunk? I assume an order
to her tunnel, a logic to the path
her breath follows. I should have guessed
from the hummingbirds which fell
from her dress, 1, 2, 3, 4—
that she wanted love. I should
have known, based on her inability to be alone,
that she’d suck me right up into the middle
of her, twist me tight until my bones popped,
like soda pop lids, like a shoe hitting pavement,
like rain on anything man-made. The trees lost
their fingers, the street signs wind-chimed
themselves without strings, slapping each other
down the block like keys on a janitor ring.
Pop quiz: Sharks don’t circle to attack,
they’re trying to see an object clearly.
How to see anything when spinning
at 300 miles per hour? She hummed
counterclockwise, pulling us toward the Earth.
I forgot my name in the hinge of her hip,
tore through the whole city before I dropped
out dirty and new and thirsty.

Kaitlin LaMoine Martin was raised by a community of writers in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She’s been published in Barrow Street, Bellevue Review, and Passages North, among others. She owns a photography business, works for a non-profit, and spends hours thinking of new ways to entertain her dogs, Frida and Adam Lee Wags II.