the girls at the gym have their noses in the air

their spandex is tighter than I remember

their loneliness, is obvious

it’s been over 8 years

since I set foot, in a gym

it’s all coming back

the chlorine smell

sweat

weights, hitting the rubber floor

old men, talking about golf

the 55-year-old who says he has cancer

hoping, being near to death will endear him to the 30-year-old

with muscles rippling down her back

“You look good,” he says.

“Thank you,” she smiles. It’s a smile that suggests, you could be my dad

and he wanders off to talk to another pretty thing

I don’t think he has cancer

he’s far too healthy, and men like him survive by their wits, passed old age

8 years have passed, since I’ve been in the gym

and I walk between the machines

my eyes could cut metal

I rarely look into the mirror

but there are mirrors, everywhere

and I can’t help myself

Where did I get this intensity, this stare

this sad hunger?

Even among bodybuilders

I stand taller

than I used to

the gym is a place of measurement

athletes measure their strength

professionals measure their fat

guys with expensive watches compare their wealth

while I think about my own genius

the high from drugs is similar to genius

I haven’t felt this way for a long time

I haven’t spoken to anyone in three days

I haven’t wanted to

you can only get this feeling without feedback

nobody recognizes genius, until it’s officially “genius”

and by then, it’s too late

it’s like the man with a morphine drip

entertained by white walls

instead of walls, I’ve been walking

reading Schopenhauer— old books that haven’t been read since 1971

it’s a fantasy, a place I can’t get to very often

the prettiest girls frown

their beauty hasn’t made them happy

all the young guys look at them

with dreams, but it’s a nightmare

nothing has changed

nobody says a word to them

they’ve been used

by stronger men

When I finish my workout

I get into my truck

and watch her through the window

staring at me

She never used to do this

my stare is light-blue electric fire

her stare, is black holes, vacant and angry

I have done well to avoid beauty

it can kill you faster than

refined cyanide

refined, by abuse

this stare of drug-induced purpose

has been flowing through me for years

acting like an opiate

against condescension

When they get to be 50

there is no light in the universe

and the sun could have shined

but it burns in blackness

in bitterness

and hate

Grand women who were never mothers

offer encouragement to male students

and it feels insincere

their compliments are cruel

Genius is a belief that you know better,

the first step

on a journey

that feels right.

17 thoughts on “Girls at the Gym

  1. I once fell for an intelligent guy (i know he is although he didn’t believe it) all I could do is staring at him 😅 it is such a strange feeling, to be wanted to, be with him but it can never be a reality.

    Liked by 1 person

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