To Run

Posted: May 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

a foot slaps the pavement, hard–
tendons, ligaments, thousands of fibers stretching and vibrating,
micro-tears running up their spine.

the arch, straining, bending,
only kept from collapsing
by once bright blue and yellow sneakers,
now clouded with dirt.

the shock travels the leg, shaking the battered calf
just before hitting the knee– Once, a doctor hovered over the knee,
peering through a tiny camera, confidently hacking away at ragged meniscal tissue
and now, pavement,
vibrating through the joint, feels a bit harder,
the remaining cartilage buckling under the load.

the mighty Quad, unfailing and resolute in its charge,
barely flinches, the pressure rolling off
and to the sides,
the thigh– uncertain its role– submits,
shaking with little purpose.

the hamstring, for the moment unfazed,
as if just along for the ride,
will pay,

ever-moving upward, the force hits the gut,
and the core– hardened by effort, softened by sugar–
attempts to hold the upper,
and the lower halves,
together. And so long as the danger threshold: more than a few sips of water,
is not exceeded, will not complain.

the beating heart, a messy tumble of
pulsing ventricles and chambers, fills with viscous blood,
before it shudders, sending fresh life
to all reaches of the body.
how close to the red zone, the danger zone– the point of no return,
impossible to know, and really,
such considerations crowded out by the immediacy of its duty.
it will do its job, without fail,
until it does.

the lungs, misshapen, and delicate air bags
and collapse,
the once measured, and deep,
for the rapid
and shallow.

the arms ride high, with insistent
ever-forward jabs, hands wrapped tightly
around keys,
and sticky packets of GU,
long since emptied.

And the face.
once softened with serotonin,
now drawn,
in hard, determined, slightly desperate lines,
and dotted with small insects–trapped on contact
by the salty,
sweat-drenched skin.

the eyes, vision darkening,
drift downward,
as if to hide, from the imminent suffering,
of another

the brain, willing the body forward
despite all signals to the contrary,
asserts its dominance, once more–
head rises, arms drive, lungs fill, abdomen tightens, hamstrings contract, calves flex–
and another step is taken; the ground, rushing up,
to inflict
its punishment
once more.

And yet—

a smile,
creeps over the lips.



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