“Physics” by Joseph Mills

We may not have understood the laws of motion,
but we exemplified them. Inertia kept us from moving
onto the dance floor, but once we started we wanted 
to keep going and grumbled when the band stopped.
We spent each night colliding with and recoiling from 
one another. Forget the falling apple. Isaac Newton
would have looked at our rumpled sweat-stained shirts,
wayward hair, our staggering orbits, and said, Eureka! 
Or perhaps he simply would have shook his head
as he drank and jotted formulas and vectors on napkins,
notes he would crumple after closing time as we all stood 
on the sidewalk in the dark, a cluster of wandering bodies.

A faculty member at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Joseph Mills will publish his seventh book of poetry, “Bodies in Motion,” in 2022, and it will feature poems about dance. His collection “This Miraculous Turning” was awarded the North Carolina Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry for its exploration of race and family. He has also published “Bleachers,” which consists of fifty-four linked fictions that take place during a youth soccer game. Information about his work is available at www.josephrobertmills.com.