I’ve been lifting again lately,
heavy weight on the bar,
enjoying the feel of strain,
the blood-pumped bloat of arms.
Down in the grey unfinished basement,
where the cats do their business
I burn incense, nag champa,
Leon Russell on the stereo.
I could cocoon down here,
among the tools of my trade,
tripods, lights stands, f-stops
and artificial ice cubes. It’s cooler, too:
AC pulled by gravity pools.
Breathe in, breathe out.
In, lower the bar; out, push up.
This is where I put in the work,
the ground floor of my life.
There’s no grand purpose in the reps,
no beach body dreams fueling
muscle and tendon,
no goal beyond enjoying this one body
while I still can: up, down, breathe,
over and over again.