Flexing My Sestinas
For seven months now, this exercise
class at 8 a.m. Forty minutes. Tedious –
one small rip across the smooth fiber
of morning. I don’t want to be skinny,
just full of energy and run. No stress –
ready to tackle a maxed-out world.
But this workout’s a whole new world –
squats and shoulder presses, exercise
the abs, set the biceps aching. Stress
and then release – it’s just so tedious,
balancing myself among these skinny
ladies with their hair of thinning fiber –
they make jokes about breakfast fiber
and creating a heart-healthy world
out of bran. I’d give them the skinny
on multigrain breads, but exercise
takes away my breath. What’s tedious
as counting grams? A pound of stress
for every ounce of fat. Do birds stress
over diet, their daily intake of fiber?
And now hill-climbers – so tedious,
arms out of synch with legs. A world
of hills out there to climb. Exercise
my thirst for waterfalls, a skinny
slicing wind off the summit. Skinny
is as skinny swims. There is no stress
where there’s a will. Is it exercise
to conquer switchbacks by sheer fiber,
gain that peak-vista over the world?
Dip toes in a mountain lake – tedious?
Of course this fitness class is tedious.
How many years. An unnamed, skinny
muscle to push me way past my world,
my body. Tension and release, stress
and giving it up. Mind is its own fiber;
and it feeds, they say, on exercise.
If life is tedious, and full of stress,
I’ll skinny-dip in the flow and fiber
of a rushing world and call it exercise.