Poetry: Gym



Polyester prances about me

as I splash my suit with sweat.

Its rustles keep time with my gasps:

a wordless throng of supporters.

The cooler, left, too close.

Its gaggle of slackers sling spiteful sights at my numbers,

stretch pointless tongues whilst I up my resistance,

form empty alliances whilst I pull in profit.

Cramp stretches at the calf

so I plough teeth into lips,

clambers cancerously to my thigh

so I clench at clammy handles.

The bounce becomes a heave,

the music stabs and dizzies

so I blind myself with figures.

poem by Declan Cooney

illustration by Hannah Peck

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