Poem

GOOD FORM

for Keith Bayard, a demigod

Winsome nymphs
in thongs
over gym tights,
nebbishes
nerds
nudnicks
aging stud-muffins,
twitterbots,
bloggers,
gal jocks
with polished fingers
racing down the steps
without touching
the chrome banisters,
I love it here.

First day of work out
I all but faint
on the green broadloom
as you cradle my head,
fluorescents flicker,
the eagle tattooed
on your flexed biceps
unfurls from its talons
Semper Fi.

“Don’t be afraid
of pain.” You push me
to heavier free weights,
move me to the front row—
left leg forward
swinging my arms
driving the right knee
into my skinny chest
for 48 nonstop bursts.

Baritone, you soar
above the amplified ABBA—
“On your toes,
punch to the left
open up the stride.
Ladies
down on hands & knees.
Gentlemen
grab your body bar—
Nothing, nothing
but good form.”

by Rafiq Kathwari, winner of the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award. Links to more work here.

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