When The Fever Stopped

i found myself remembering
all the other feeble days
when time stood still, when
a single room, a single bed
was everything. Between
shivers and coughs, the
twilight space, sickness,
where body and mind journey
in dreams, but go nowhere.

This suffering carries with it
the magic of surrendering
to forces that determine
temperature and strength,
outside of human will and
control. And when this lasts
for night after night, a voice
calls out, don’t fight, don’t fight.
And when we give in
life always begins again.

At The Gym

They look in the large mirror,
at biceps or red faces huffing,
breathing during squats or lunges,
shouldered weights pressing
gravity, reps into struggling flesh,

trick a body into staying young,
aging less, iron lifting medicine
like swallowing Omega-3 pills
to keep it all going. They worry
about who might be watching

contours, smooth, hard, flabby,
sagging skin or calves that pop.
They stay indoors listening to loud
music staring at reflections wanting
to halt time, be bigger, be stronger.

As if it were so simple, forgetting
that real strength is invisible, it dwells
immeasurable, unphotographable.
But for them it is easier to put it on
Instagram, pretend, pretend, pretend.