I'm thinking this might be more than one poem mushed together, or maybe it's a longer poem that isn't filled out yet. I like that it kind of builds rhythm, like the running it describes. Not sure what else I think. It's a thought that came into my mind on my short, fast, incredibly sweaty run on Tuesday.
After the third mile I know
if I stop running my eyes
will sting, salt trail
down my face, one drop
then another, then a flood
that would take more
than these dirty hands to stop.
They are not here when I run
those ghosts, those worries, obligations, disappointments.
So I don’t stop at three
or even four miles – four
is too easy, two out, two back.
I divide myself with each step.
I am not my apartment, door closed behind me,
its view, its books, the rent I pay.
I am this heart, pumping blood,
its rhythm, unconscious wisdom.
I turn a corner, sidewalks and trees, sun and shade.
I am not my cheap sunglasses
not my parents’ disappointment.
I am these muscles, legs and arms,
lungs and breath. I am this sweat
that drips like tears from my hair into my eyes.
I am not my past, not your future.
Each footfall takes me farther, each breath in and out
expels more that isn’t me till I am shining
and simplified, my physical self,
the body I was born with, nothing more.
I am completing a circle, or more like a square,
returning back to where I started.
It will be seven miles, indivisible
by anything but itself.