The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Jean Tupper


Iím riding my bike   my stationary bike
and staring at one of the hanging TVs
turn off the words  turn off the sound
the weather CNN
churning over my head
turn off the women pedaling next to me
donít want to hear   donít want to know
the tumor the biopsy
all the whispered words

from here I canít reach
canít turn off As the World Turns
nobody asks if I want it or not
theyíre kissing again
No! she slaps him in the face
I donít care but canít look away
he doesnít understand  
why her pain   how the baby
comes into it now   what itís like
to be tossed away like trash

the twisted lady
has finished her hip abductions
and moved on to the pectoral fly
the gum-popper
is back on the treadmill
and the thin man
with pelted chest and arms
sweats profusely on the elliptical
I donít really know anyone here
only that his name is Ralph
and the one with tattoos is an ex-Marine
we use the same machines
row the same compound row
give the equipment a good wipe
thereís a lot of skin showing
but nobody touches   

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