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God's Gym

In blunder of dusk I negotiate rush hour
past the strip-mall fitness center,

plate glass tableaux of bodies in treadmill
silhouette, an elbow in the signage above gone dark.

I can hear from here the earbuds stair-stepping,
bottomless techno sham, no bridge, no left hand,

& consider the fit of cherry blossoms
that blew against my blouse this morning.

You sent them to me;
also the cursive plum branch in ghostly waver,

blue jay already swallowed by white sky. Lover,
I could say, or little brother, consider the Shakers,

their simple holes and pegs complicated by glossolalia
of twitch and stomp as if you had a thousand years

to live, and their celibate shafts of conversion,
as if you were to die tomorrow

of adoption, the upper room of the heart emptying
into tongues of esophageal fire.

Lisa Russ Spaar

Vanitas, Rough
Persea Books

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