To run

with a body

that strains 

and screams

with limbs bones and ligaments 

stretched at the seams

miles away 

from seeking the gaze

of anyone anywhere

only the haze

of the finish line calling 

the most primal parts

of an effort explosion 

spray-painted like art

on the tunnels 

that pass below

all that's expected

of women in a culture

that worships

the effortless.



is magnitude 

felt in our bones

as we push back the earth

and bugs splat on the chrome

and gradually "maybe I can" 

becomes must

and we haul toward the finish

our pulchritude dust

and all of the photos 

show legs made of mush

with a jiggle and smash

of the violent downbeat 

what if we saw them 

and didn't delete

but used them as tools

to evolve aspiration

to stand up and say

i'll take strained ventilation

and skin patchworked

from vasodilation

from the blood that pumps 

from my soul to my heels

because this 

is what effort

is made of.


September 23, 2016 — jbarnard

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